New Product Development in Consumer FoodService : Asian Flavours , Freshness, and Value Above All Else

June 2015

New product development in 2014 was driven by consumers’ desire to maximise the value of their dining experiences, through any and all means necessary. This meant operators looked for ways to add more freshness and functionality to their menus, and they experimented with a wider variety of Asian-inspired dishes and concepts. They also used new technology, both inside and outside outlets, to enhance the traditional restaurant-going experience and, in some cases, even redefine it entirely.

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Modern tech

Technology has changed both what it means to operate a restaurant and what consumers are looking for from their dining experience, resulting in entirely new service models, redesigned operations and new ordering and payment streams. Online and mobile capabilities have become an essential part of any concept, and they are separating the successful chains from those falling behind.

Value in all forms

Fierce competition in wealthy markets and price sensitivity in others means that maximising value is an important benefit for the majority of global consumers. As a result, operators are improving every part of the value equation, utilising more creative meal bundles, higher quantity shareable items, and entertainment-based value-adds. Many are even looking to “viral innovation”, using novelty items to make their brands a part of the conversation.

Fresh and functional

Consumers continue to seek out freshness – a somewhat elusive quality that encompasses high-quality ingredients, functional foods, fresh preparation methods, artisanal items, organic ingredients and responsible sourcing, all of which together help to define what it now means to be healthy. Within this umbrella trend, vegetables have taken on a new role as main dish components, adding value to the centre of the plate rather than the side.

Asian Influence

Asian flavours have grown in popularity, due both to the spread of Asia-based chained concepts and to increased interest in Asian flavours and cuisines in other markets all over the world. This has meant Asian-inspired dishes are showing up on menus in many categories.

Scope of the Report



Key trends in 2014 new product development

Modern Tech

Consumers want modern service and a modern dining experience
Online ordering and payment is the backbone
Mobile ordering and payment is the future
Delivery demand is spurring growth for new service models
And illustrating the effects of a greater shift in consumer behaviour
Table-top technology and touchscreen ordering adds value
Panera 2.0 takes the outlet back to the drawing board
And changes what it means to be a modern fast food outlet
Key takeaways in modern tech

Value in All Forms

The pursuit of value is a global priority
Value through price is familiar and still appealing
Value through quantity offers benefits for operator and consumer
Value through quantity sells indulgence and occasions
Consumers feel very strongly about the value in “experience”
Dining out is an event, a novelty, and a conversation
McDonald’s’ Create Your Taste is a bold but risky rebrand
Will what works for fast casual work for McDonald’s?
Viral innovation offers food with a side of social media currency
Cause-based, lifestyle, and ethical marketing: a how-to
Key takeaways in value in all forms

Fresh and Functional

Fresh and functional: 2015’s “healthy” goes beyond calories
No limit to interest in naturally healthy and functional goods
Freshness means high value
Vegetables can add value, too
Functional benefits are highly appealing
As a caveat, freshness cannot be just about marketing
Ethical marketing and sourcing add credibility to freshness claims
Key takeaways in fresh and functional

Asian Influence

The future of foodservice is Asian foodservice
Asian concepts have appeal all over the world
Asian flavours are finding traction in all foodservice categories
Asian chains are moving abroad
Key takeaways in Asian influence

Trends For 2016

Demand will revolve around maximising value: Of all kinds

Future prospects

Freshness, flexibility, quality and value have long-term appeal


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