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It’s now been over a year and a half since the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown was enforced and the food industry in the UK can be seen dramatically evolving alongside our new Covid friendly lifestyles. Naturally, when eating out has not been possible, restaurant customers have resulted in maintaining exciting diets by opting for a takeaway instead.
While the initial lockdown saw an increase in home cooking and family traditions, such as baking bread once again arose, a bigger and noticeable factor of the pandemic is the changes in consumer behaviour in regards to takeaway food sales.
Eating in has become the new eating out. Data reveals that takeaway orders were up by over 40 percent on weekends throughout lockdown when compared to pre-covid orders and these numbers are said to be likely here to stay. The UK also saw an increase of 3 percent from new takeaway consumers and overall across Europe, approximately 55 percent of consumers intend to carry on using delivery services in the future.
A higher demand for takeaway food has given restaurants an opportunity to reassess their traditional routines of sitting customers down, and as new trends emerge, it is vital for restaurants to keep up . An increase in kitchen capacities for fulfilling takeaway orders have risen from approximately 20-30 percent, where now the plan lies in extending this up to 50 percent to keep up with the ongoing trend of eating within your own home comforts.
The growth of digitally ordering food may not only be a factor which has grown due to Covid-19 restrictions, but changes in food trends are also visible. People moving towards a more ethical future and becoming more conscious of environmental issues has resulted in an adaptation of lifestyles. Healthy and sustainable food is on an increasing demand and restaurants are expected to to meet their consumer needs. A British food delivery service has claimed its vegan orders have risen by 163% this year when compared to the previous year, and the search for ‘vegan food’ has increased by 153 percent in ‘Veganuary’, showing many Brits pledging to take part in this movement with no sign to slow down according to the source. Vegan food is not the only food trend which is on the rise, with the global pandemic on everyone’s minds, research has revealed that consumers are on the search for immune boosting food and therefore healthy foods are increasing in demand, resulting in the food industry adapting their market.
Similarly to the rise of vegan takeaway options, special food delivery services have expanded their horizon by providing consumers with the choice of a wider range of restaurants to satisfy their needs. The idea of a traditional takeaway commonly suggested a pizza on a Friday night, now it can be anything from a coffee in the morning, or a dessert and salad from a high street cafe and it is not determined by the day of the week, but as an easy alternative to cooking.
With the majority of the nation locked indoors for the past two years, the food industry surprisingly benefitted from adapting traditional dining and developing with consumer trends. It is in everyones favour for restaurants to take the time to understand how their consumers are evolving. Takeaway looks like it’s a trend that’s here to stay so why not better understand businesses and the community around us by downloading our free app, GASTON.
A benefit of GASTON is not only the ability to personalize restaurants near you for dietary requirements and lifestyle preferences, but it also provides restaurants with access to consumer food preferences, understanding their target market to a better extent and reducing avoidable food waste.
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