The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has devastated the global foodservice industry in the short term, while radically accelerating existing trends. Surging investment in delivery and online ordering has combined with massive new demand for prepared meals consumed at home. This briefing serves as a guide to the current state of play, running through key regional trends, as well as the five most important global trends for the next five years.
The recovery from pandemic-related shocks continued in 2021, even with new COVID-19 strains leading to continued waves of infection and even a return to lockdowns in certain markets, China above all.
Whilst 2021 brought a slight pullback, any sustained recovery in independent demand is likely to be 1-2 years away, and many independent outlets have shut permanently. Ongoing shifts in consumer demand are likely to require continued capital investments, meaning large chains are likely to continue to benefit from any recovery.
In-person interaction is not going away; however, the days of strict delineations between online and offline are likely to be over, with demand growing for seamless interactions between the two.
Virtual restaurants, in particular, will become an important means of product development and capacity utilisation for more operators, going forward, allowing for more direct-to-consumer innovation.
The continued expansion of foodservice and smartphone ordering will increase the visibility of prepared food, bringing new concerns about sustainability and health.
Consumer foodservice is composed of cafés/bars, full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants, self-service cafeterias and street stalls/kiosks.See All of Our Definitions
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