“Consumers are rejecting over-complicated products and instead starting to go for local, ethical or high quality alternatives, which help them to express their individuality,” Amir Ali, a research analyst with Euromonitor International, explained during the market research firm’s presentation on the top trends to watch in 2019.
“This trend has really been present since the financial crisis, but we have seen it come particularly to the floor in recent times, and we feel it will really gain momentum in 2019 and beyond,” Ali noted.
Ali explained that the financial crash of 2008 served as a reminder of the risks of growing too much, too quickly, and prompted consumers in developed economies to adopt a quality-over-quantity attitude and favor simple and authentic products.
“Trends in food and drink perfectly reflect the shift of Back to Basics for Status,” according to Euromonitor’s 2019 trends report. “Buying hyperlocal food is growing in popularity for a range of reasons, including that it supports local businesses, food is fresher and tastes better, it reduces the environmental impact by eliminating ‘food miles’ and may offer better value for money as it encourages the consumption of in-season fruits and vegetables.”
One way that this is playing out is the with rise of partnerships between vertical farmers and retailers to allow for growing produce on the roofs or nearby stores, which can then be picked in the morning and sold in the store that day.
The trend also is apparent in the micro-breweries and distilleries that are popping up and showcasing local ingredients, hand crafted products and a “solid grounding in location and origin,” according to Euromonitor.
While the trend is strongest in developed economies, like the US, emerging economies are starting to follow suit, Ali noted.
“The Commissary is an eatery that opened in 2018 in Cape Town and it offers high quality food by renowned local chefs in a back-to-basics, no frills street food atmosphere. So, this minimalist dining concept has communal tables and an open plan space and a busy atmosphere where food is served on disposable plates,” Ali explained. “The restaurant owners really wanted to show the variety and quality of food that can be prepared with basic provisions. So the focus is taken away from the service or the extras and it is placed firmly on the quality and taste of the food.”