Food delivery has become a global market worth more than £150 billion, having more than tripled since 2017 and, since the pandemic in London alone, restaurants are selling an extra 900,000 takeaway meals a week via popular apps like Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
Although the takeaway industry is certainly booming, the food sector will face numerous challenges in the coming decade. From the race to develop plant-based meat substitutes to edible food packaging and menu engineering; change is just around the corner. But how will food delivery companies meet the huge increase in orders whilst keeping carbon emissions low?
Let’s dive into the future of food and find out what our takeaways might look like in 2030…
Sustainable dining and recyclable takeaway containers are taking over the food industry. Due to our current climate, consumers have become more aware than ever before of where their food comes from and the impact restaurants are having on the environment. This gives food establishments a level of responsibility in sourcing local produce and implementing sustainable practices to ensure they’re being as eco-friendly as possible.
Edible Food Packaging
Large scale plastic waste is one of the most persistent pollutants on Earth and a big contributor to global warming. Let’s be thankful for the development of edible food packaging! Currently, there are edible water bottles made out of algae, biodegradable plastic, as well as bowls made of mushrooms and cutlery made from wheat bran. The solutions have been recognised by many research groups and the food and pharmaceutical industries as an alternative or synergic addition to conventional packaging. We could soon see our favourite takeaways arriving in edible packaging!
A Thirst for Spicier Foods
Complex and spicier flavours are in high demand and this will continue to grow over the next decade. Consumers are after the heat and flavour combined, with hotter spices being used more regularly. Thankfully, diners with adventurous palates can now look forward to North African and Southeast Asian ingredients such as dukka, ghost pepper, gochujang, harissa sambal and sumac.
It’s the year (and decade) of the vegan! Whilst more diets turn towards the vegan lifestyle, foodservice businesses will be widening their menu options to make room for meat-free food and to accommodate the food choices of their consumers. There has been a rapid increase in veganism, as well as vegetarians and flexitarians in recent years, which goes to show how planet conscious the food industry is becoming. By 2030 our takeaway menu could be predominantly plant-based.
Expect to see a range of healthier options being added to the menus of your favourite takeaways. With the rise of meat-free diets and health-conscious consumers, healthier delivery options will become more widely available in the years to come.
Foods of the Future
Insects require fewer resources than most meat, with crickets being one of the most sustainable sources of meat on the planet. Many insects are incredibly rich in nutrients, high in protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Some edible insects contain all essential amino acids that are necessary to rebuild the muscles and tissues in our bodies. Also, this delicious superfood has lots of promising implementations. If you are already able to buy pasta, energy bars, pate, snacks and other products enriched with edible insects, what will the future hold?
You’ve probably tried algae before either as sushi wrapping, in ramen or as vegetarian jelly. If you’ve ever been looking out for superfoods, chances are, you probably stumbled upon the benefits of chlorella, spirulina or other algae. Algae produce a slew of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and have an amino acid profile that compares to eggs. They contain all essential amino acids that are required for normal health and growth.
In comparison to conventionally-produced European meat, cultured meat is far more energy-efficient, using 7-45% less energy and producing 78-96% fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Although, the cost of lab-grown meat is still quite high compared to conventional livestock meat. By 2030 we could see cultured meat lining the shelves of our local supermarket.
In the near future, you’ll be able to choose between pork, beef, chicken and fish. And we can even cultivate healthy fatty acids, meaning fake meat might become healthier than the real thing!
Digitising our Current Food System
With the pandemic accelerating innovation, what future technology is set to change the face of the foodservice business forever? Indoor agriculture is vital for the future due to the ever-growing population and high-level food production demand and the increasing risk and cost of traditional farming. The importance of digital tools to enable data tracking and sharing amongst other farmers will allow the user to coordinate energy consumption. Digital capabilities such as AI and automation have dramatically transformed dozens of businesses in many markets and big things are on the horizon for food delivery services by 2030.
One of these developments is menu engineering. Using the data generated through delivery platforms, restaurants can build custom menus for each consumer, increasing sales, total order value, and conversion rates. End-to-end customisation helps ensure that customer preferences, such as food allergies, are taken into account for every meal and that food recommendations are more accurate.
The Future is Dark (Kitchens)
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the food industry forever and brought new trends with it. Among them are dark kitchens. In many ways, dark or delivery kitchens have been the saving grace of the pandemic, allowing restaurants to continue operating despite restrictions that banned diners from visiting their establishments. A whopping 25% of all food deliveries during the pandemic came from the commercial kitchen model and, although the world has re-opened, the future is bright for dark kitchens.
The resilience of the hospitality industry in adapting to changing consumer behaviours has been evident for some years and, it’s predicted that dark kitchens will only grow in popularity as the population adapts to the ‘new normal’ but retains the habit of ordering in.
At Dephna, we offer complete flexibility and 24-hour access to all of our commercial and dark kitchens. If you’re interested in an environmentally-friendly commercial kitchen rental, cold storage rooms or catering kitchens to keep up with the ever-increasing takeaway demand, enquire and book a visit.