It’s hard to believe that 2018 has come and gone already. For some, 2018 came to a close at a snail’s pace and for others 2019 was already here before we were ready to say goodbye to 2018.
Like at the beginning of every new year we have new set of resolutions. Like many of you out there know, some of the resolutions fail and some succeed. The same goes for possible trends that may or may not succeed in the new year. Let’s take a look at the top 3 trends for this year that just may become the new normal.
So not a what, but a who for “Flexitarians”. One way to define a flexitarian is that they are people who want to reduce their meat, poultry and fish intake by switching to a more plant-based diet. For many, the flexitarian lifestyle is appealing for multiple reasons—it helps you maintain an optimal weight, decreases your environmental impact, and may even lengthen your life span. Not full vegetarian or vegan, flexitarians are the new consumer who wants to be “flexible” with their diet and eat healthy. Like many things in life, moderation and flexibility is key.
2. Veggies vs. Meat on the Menu.
From vegetarians, to vegan and now with the addition of the flexitarians, it should be no surprise to see a push for more vegetable and plant-based options on the menu that are equal to the meat options. One reason to make a menu changes is that in a recent study, it shows a 600% increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S. in the last three years. According to a report by research firm GlobalData, only 1% of U.S. consumers claimed to be vegan in 2014. And in 2017, that number rose to 6%. It’s pretty obvious that more and more people are moving toward a healthy, plant-based lifestyle. Big businesses and restaurants are also noticing this shift too. Take Taco Bell for example, which already boasts that they are the only quick service restaurant to offer the American Vegetarian Association (AVA) certified food options. They already have a reportedly 8 MILLION vegetarian combinations you can order from. Taco Bell also reports selling 350 million vegetarian items a year. As if that was not enough, they are also planning to introduce even more items with new menu boards slated for later this year in the hopes to target the growing number of vegetarians, vegans and flexitarians. It should be no surprise to see restaurants across the board adding more plant-based food options to their menu to appeal to this new consumer’s healthy cravings.
3. Let’s stay in and eat.
One trend that is not going away but only growing is that more people are deciding to eat at home. This does not mean they are making meals from scratch or waiting for a pizza to be delivered. Their options have changed with the introduction of the food delivery services such as UberEats, GrubHub, Postmates and Doordash partnering up with a number of local and chain restaurants. According to market researcher NPD Group, an increasing number of at-home meals have been ordered in. In the year through September, dining at a restaurant was flat from last year, representing 37% of all visits. Restaurant visits for meals to be consumed at home, on the other hand, rose 2% and now account for 32% of all sector traffic, according to NPD. Adult singles with income of $100,000 and above drive the majority of that demand while families and groups of five or more account for 31% of foodservice meals eaten at home, NPD said in a study released this month. Eating at home has gotten so much easier with all of these conveniences all around you with basically a touch of a button. The use of these apps on many “smart” devices (i.e. smartphone, tablet, smart watches, smart TVs’, Alexa, or Siri) makes it very easy just to order in. As a time-crunched lifestyle becomes the common thread for all consumers, be it Millennials to baby boomers, delivering meals to our homes and or work places has become an easy way to eat.
It will be interesting to see what happens with these trends throughout 2019. Tell us in the comments section below if you or anyone you know plan on adopting any of these trends this year.