How to Apply 2018 Food Trends to Concession Foods
Take Advantage of These 2018 Food Trends
Each year consumers drive exciting developments in concession foods. Based on overall trends for 2018, we suggest the following concession food ideas to help you stay relevant with your customers.
More Bold Global Flavors
More than ever, Americans are branching out to explore more diverse tastes in meals and snacks. There are global influences that drive curiosity for new-to-us flavors and the overall experience of enjoying something from another culture. For gourmet popcorn, this means flavors such as ghost pepper, wasabi, and sriracha may take center stage when it comes to the savory palette.
Healthy vs. Indulgent
These two trends continue to compete with each other; while healthier lifestyles are becoming more popular, there’s always room for a little indulgence. According to Food Management, “snacking occasions are twice as likely to be ‘driven by the desire for a reward or indulgence’ than meal-based occasions.”*
More good news is that with gourmet popcorn, you can meet the needs of both ends of the spectrum by selling everything from reduced-sodium options to candy-glazed popcorn.
Focus on Food Sourcing and Nutritional Transparency
FDA guidelines are becoming tighter, while consumers are pushing for more knowledge about where their food comes from and how it’s produced. Fortunately, you have the option to make and sell organic popcorn, which can draw in this type of customer.
Along the same line is the fact that community and ethical mindfulness is a growing trend, which goes hand in hand with consumers wanting to know about their food sources. Use signage to tell your customers if you do any of the following (and if you don’t yet, consider picking up one of these ideas for your concession business):
- Buy/sell any locally made products
- Support a local cause or charity
- Donate your leftover foods
- Run a family-owned business
Food for All of the Senses
For 2018, expect customers to look for and appreciate a tactile experience. We’ve always said that it’s important to have your popcorn machine actively working in order to drive interest, and this trend supports that concept. The movement and smell will entice a hungry audience.
Keep in mind that this is partly driven by social media – consumers want to eat colorful, textural foods that are worthy of an Instagram post to share with their friends. Think rainbow or confetti popcorn, for example, sold in an interesting container. Even fudge fits the bill if you make a visually interesting cherry-vanilla swirl.
More than ever, it’s important to create a snacking experience that’s unique and memorable. Doing so will entice your customers to organically “show and tell” on social media, and have them return to you again and again. Some of the ways you can do this are to incorporate interesting flavors, offer best-in-class customer service, or come up with an entertaining appearance or presentation of your concessions.
In New Orleans, for example, Centerplate (at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome) brands their foods. Run with this idea by coming up with your own symbol and use that to brand your hot dog buns. It will delight your customers and get them talking!
Need more guidance on any of these trends and concession stand food ideas? Contact us for a one-on-one consultation.
*Source: Food Management