What’s leading the charge in food and beverage?

  • Opinion
  • December 7, 2017
  • Chris Beasleigh
What’s leading the charge in food and beverage?

Over time, we have seen the food and beverage sector morph from the days of fast food restaurants dominating the landscape, to precincts or destination areas where people go to dine out or get various forms of take away.

One of the biggest changes is what’s on offer and when. Eateries are utilising their assets to stay open all day to cover breakfast, lunch and dinner, enabling customers to pop in at any time of the day for a meal. In the past, if you missed the lunch run there was often a lull period before the kitchen opened again for dinner, whereas this is no longer the case.

The types of food on offer is also changing. There is currently a market for the top end of fresh food and fine dining and the low end of pizza and beer, but in the mid-tier range options are currently limited unless you are a fan of Japanese-style cuisine.

It has also been said that the younger generation are less skilled in the cooking department and often opt for eating out or takeaway food instead of cooking at home. It is possible this will drive future trends, however, at the moment it hasn’t had a huge impact, as pizza is consistently available. 

There is growth in the niche food market with specialty items such as chocolatiers and specialty ice cream retailers popping up, also traditional items such as Chinese have evolved from basic offerings to allowing for various forms of the cuisine to reflect what’s available in different regions of China.

As New Zealand’s population grows, especially main centres such as Auckland, and becomes a melting pot of cultures, the food offering is stepping up. In Auckland you can get Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese, American… you name it, it’s there. In fact, one of my favourite haunts at the moment has to be a Columbian restaurant called El Humero in Takapuna, my kids love it too. The various food options are endless with many in Auckland spoilt for choice.

Although there are food destinations throughout main cities, there is still a place for local eateries. People now have to consider the new drink driving laws. Local restaurants can be a popular because of this, and if the local restaurant can provide a tried and true menu and good service in a comfortable environment, they can achieve repeat custom from those living in the area.

The fit-outs for food and beverage outlets has also changed. Today employing great designers doesn’t necessarily mean you will have an expensive fit-out. Some opt for old school chairs and more of a recycled look. This is just one example of what a great designer will do, work to a budget and think outside the box.

As our cities grow, so does the opportunity for retailers. Auckland’s Long Bay is a great example of this. The newly developed area will house up to 5000 people and to cater for this, the developer has set aside 7634sqm of retail, commercial and food and beverage space.

The developer has intentionally set aside a 1000sqm at the centre of Long Bay for food and beverage in a dedicated pavilion and plaza. This will allow for five tenancies with an indoor/outdoor environment. With lots of natural light, this north facing area will be designed to be inviting and family friendly. We are excited to see this project underway as being a new development, it will depict current trends and be representative of what many other new food and beverage retail areas can achieve.

Food trends over the past five years

2013 Frozen yoghurt 

2014 Mexican

2015 Juice and salads to go

2016 Burgers or pizzas and craft beer

2017 Hawaiian poke

2018? Potentially niche eateries, specialty foods

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