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Predictions for the Foodservice Industry in 2030

Sep 05, 2023

Predictions for the Foodservice Industry in 2030

The Technomic Conference in June 2023 gathered industry leaders to examine trends and glimpse into the future of the Foodservice industry. Here’s what to expect as we approach the next decade.

Growth will be steady but uneven

A steady annual growth of 2.2%, excluding inflation, is projected through 2030. On the other hand, nominal growth which includes inflation is expected to be at 5.7% annually. 

Last year, the industry accounted for 48 cents of every dollar spent by consumers. Looking forward to 2023, it is expected to rise up to 53 cents–becoming evidence of the industry’s role in shaping consumer habits.

Let’s dive into specific segments of the expected sales growth:

  • Fast casual, senior living, travel, and leisure: Impressive 8% growth rate

  • Quick-service restaurants, fast-casual restaurants, convenience stores, supermarkets, full-service dining, and fine dining: Solid 6% growth rate. Efficiency and convenience will continue to be the consumers’ popular choice.

  • Casual dining: This segment is projected to see a 5% growth rate.

  • Institutional foodservice e.g. colleges, universities, hospitals, etc.: A more modest growth rate of 4%.

Technomic also predicts a whopping 50,000 more establishments by 2030, keeping in mind that the total number of restaurants will still remain below pre-pandemic 2019 levels. Demand for off-premise dining will continue to increase, thanks to consumers’ desire for convenience.

The effects of changing demographics and consumer behavior

To thrive in the increasingly competitive industry, operators need to adapt to the specific needs and preferences of consumers in 2030. Who are they and how can you prepare?

Consumers aged 65 and over will account for 21% of the population by 2030 (from the current 17%). Demands for senior-friendly menu options—softer diet, nutrient-rich, and low sodium—will increase.

The Gen Alpha consumers will account for 22% of the total population by 2030. These 25 years and under individuals are very expectant, having access to iPads and phones from early childhood. They know what they want and want it as fast as possible. Preferred brands and customization are crucial factors when it comes to their food choices.

Gen Z, the most prominent consumer of the current decade, will become the biggest opportunity as they approach the ages of 30-40. These individuals will finally enter the workforce, earning more and increasing their disposable income. It will also be a prime time for them to raise families while working. Their busier schedules will leave less time for meal preparation at home, making eating out or convenience food a reliable time-saver.

Gen Z will have high expectations when it comes to food as they already do right now. These digital natives crave connectivity and use social media to inform their dining decisions. They value accuracy, speed, and quality. It’s also worth noting that they are more diverse which will impact food-related experiences and expectations from concept trends to menu items. 

How operators can be 2030-ready

  • Leverage prepared products for back-of-house execution: Labor has posed a challenge for the food industry for the last 40 years and is likely to continue. Low wages are a huge factor and call for labor-saving solutions. Simplot frozen potatoes, avocados, fruits, and vegetables will remain relevant to operators thanks to their ease of use by staff. 

  • Work with technology: Upgrade the online/mobile ordering experience and order tracking, implement automated kiosks, and geo-fence to identify loyal customers and target custom recommendations. 

By 2030, the foodservice industry is poised to be driven by shifting demographics, changing consumer preferences, and technological advancements.

Source: Technomic Activate Conference, June 2023