The start of a new year is always an exciting time for businesses, no matter what industry they’re in, but especially so for restaurants and takeaways that are keen to diversify their offerings and keep their menus fresh and interesting, bringing a raft of new customers in through the doors.
Keeping an eye on all the latest food trends that are expected to make big waves over the coming 12 months is a wise idea so you can see what might work – and what should be avoided.
Of course, not every trend will suit your business and, in fact, trying to hit them all will likely be a wasted effort, as you probably won’t be able to maintain standards if you try to have mass appeal. Instead, it’s perhaps a better idea to focus on one or two that you can devote particular attention to, ensuring satisfied customers each and every time.
With that in mind, here are just three of the biggest fast food trends we expect to be big news this year. Which of these would work best for you and your brand?
Pasta, pasta, pasta
2023 was definitely the year that pasta came to the fore and this shows no signs of stopping in 2024. Go avant-garde with your recipes and transform this household staple into something unique and delicious, with the price tag to match.
One of the best ways to lure in customers is to tug on their heartstrings and make them think of their childhood. Nostalgia marketing works really well in the fast food arena, with lots of opportunities to embrace the concept from the food itself to branded takeaway food packaging, the inclusion of toys, campaign mascots and so on.
Now’s the time to think outside the takeaway box to see how you could elicit an emotional response from your target market.
As with the vast majority of industries out there, artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to make a name for itself in the food and beverage sphere.
While they may not seem like natural bedfellows, it seems that you can use this kind of tech to great effect when it comes to innovative menu changes, coming up with flavour combinations that you might not have considered otherwise.
In need of inspiration? Check out Coca-Cola’s Zero Sugar Byte drink, which was inspired by gaming and invites drinkers to explore what pixels might actually taste like, blurring the lines between the physical and digital worlds.
Apparently, this particular drink has a bright, upfront taste that’s intended to remind people of powering up a game, while the “refreshing finish” is the ultimate gaming companion. The graphics on the packaging have been designed specifically with pixels to form the iconic Coca-Cola logo, helping to bring pixels to life in a taste experience like no other.
The product launch came with a range of immersive digital experiences, with players able to discover Sugar Byte in the metaverse, interacting with other gamers while playing four different sensory-inspired multiplayer mini games.