Looking Back: Food & Drink
02 : 01 : 20

This year, the home came to the fore in food and drink, brands embraced whole-system thinking, and our dining habits were further transformed by technology.

The Trend: Home Eatertainment

How to Eat Everything by Kelsey McClellan How to Eat Everything by Kelsey McClellan

Modern mealtimes have come to rely on a series of shortcuts as snacking, delivery apps and solo dining transform our relationship with food and drink – and with each other. But while demand for convenience is high, consumers are also looking for connection, intimacy and inspiration, especially when it comes to occasions.

At a time when meal delivery is replacing traditional table service and disrupting grocery retail, our 2019 macrotrend, Home Eatertainment, explored the various ways eating in is becoming the new dining out. From direct-to-consumer drinks brands to supper club start-ups, the trend reflects how the home is being re-established as a key space for the future of food and drink.

With at-home eating and drinking set to play a new role in the industry’s future, brands must meet consumers where they are spending more time. In 2020 and beyond, consumers will increasingly seek products and services that elevate the experience and enjoyment of eating and drinking behind closed doors.

The Big Idea: Whole-system Eating

Consumers increasingly looked to balance their own health with the health of the planet in 2019. As the relationship between our eco-systems and our diets becomes more holistic, buzzwords like sustainability, biodiversity and regenerative agriculture are challenging brands to rethink their roles.

At the beginning of the year, the EAT-Lancet Commission published new dietary guidelines highlighting the need for consumers to transform the way they eat in order to make global food systems more sustainable.

Soon after, Ikea’s research and design laboratory, Space10, unveiled a collection of sustainable, future-facing recipes, which similarly looked to help us eat better both for people and the planet.

Interest in plant-based products, flexitarianism and Next-generation Protein continued to grow, while the rise of aquaponics reflected the larger industry trend of investing in whole eco-systems.

Misfit Foods Misfit Foods

The Campaign: Eat This Show by TSLA

Eat This Show by RedMart

In October, RedMart, the online supermarket arm of Lazada Singapore, worked with creative agency TSLA to create the world’s first edible cooking show.

Eat This Show, which featured local chef Bjorn Shen cooking various dishes on Facebook Live, offered viewers the chance to order the food they saw on the live stream. The first 25 viewers were invited to order the food being cooked, with ingredients then delivered to their homes. Others were able to click through to the recipe page and order the items needed to recreate the dish themselves.

According to TSLA, the creative agency behind the campaign, more than 100,000 people tuned in with the hope of trying the exclusive dishes. ‘Creating a cooking show that takes the food from screen to mouths isn’t just something that’s never been done – it’s also a great way of showing the world that RedMart’s products are fresh and delicious,’ said Ariel Lee, head of mothering at TSLA.

The Interview: Alon Chen on algorithms and appetites

Perspective by Suzanne Saroff Perspective by Suzanne Saroff

This year also saw the launch of Israeli start-up Tastewise, a new food intelligence platform that uses machine learning to identify emerging food trends. The platform analyses billions of food and beverage consumer touchpoints, including food photos shared on social media, restaurant menus across the US and online recipes.

We say that we bring science and analytics to the art of creating food and beverage experiences,’ explains Alon Chen, CEO and co-founder of Tastewise, in our interview.In the past, the industry has lacked the ability to understand what the consumer wants and what should be next in terms of products. Companies invest tens of billions of dollars in traditional market research that simply gives them the wrong answer.’

In terms of how technology will shape our eating and drinking habits in 2020, Chen believes algorithms are already playing a major role in our diets. ‘Many food trends link back to the fact that people’s tastes are influenced by what they see and read online, and what they are exposed to on social media,’ he says. ‘One of the reasons there is such disruption in the food industry is that people today talk a lot more about food, and it’s changing attitudes to eating and drinking.’

The Space: Humble Pizza

Humble Pizza designed by Child Studio, London Humble Pizza designed by Child Studio, London
Humble Pizza designed by Child Studio, London Humble Pizza designed by Child Studio, London
Humble Pizza designed by Child Studio, London Humble Pizza designed by Child Studio, London

One of the standout spaces of 2019 was London’s Humble Pizza – a striking vegan restaurant inspired by the 1950s Formica cafés of the city’s West End.

Designed by Child Studio, the all-pink restaurant references the café culture of London’s King’s Road and the pastel-coloured, Italian-run cafés of the past, frequented by writers, artists and bohemians. Serving vegan food including pizzas, salads and soups, the restaurant offers a plant-based alternative to the area’s iconic cafés.

‘We have long been attracted to the cinematic quality of London’s Formica cafés, the duality of Modernist design language and their almost cartoonish spirit,’ said Chieh Huang and Alexey Kostikov, co-founders of Child Studio. As such, the restaurant departs from some of the more traditional, artisanal design cues associated with veganism and instead champions a more synthetic, playful aesthetic.

Download the Future Forecast 2020 report

Now that you know what shaped 2019, discover what’s on the horizon. Download our Future Forecast 2020 report comprising 50 new behavioural patterns across 10 key consumer sectors, expert opinion pieces and interviews with global innovators.

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