I’m back from a quick spin to Zurich and the Foodservice Summit – trying to digest and extract those first impressions from what was a tightly packed programme. But three things stand out:
Purpose, People, Planet and Profit
There is a shift coming – for years Foodservice has to a very large extent been about concepts. Design and food combined in such a way that they are easily reproducible – the famous cookie cutter approach – roll out the units, the faster the better. But now there are clear signs that the 4 P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Place and Promotion are being challenged by a new type of awareness and approach to foodservice – the new 4 P’s are now: Purpose, People, Planet and Profit, and in that order. This was a clear theme in several presentations. Living examples at the FSS were Leon and Nandos
Back to Basics
Several speakers mentioned simplicity, authenticity and back to basic as a key aspect of what they do. Food is about trust – more so than ever and foodservice is the last link in a long chain from farm to fork. Foodservice will need to work hard to earn and maintain the trust of the consumer. But that means walking a fine line. I have previously noted that I am worried that it is somehow becoming acceptable to add all sorts of ugly chemicals to food in order to make it spectacular – as it’s done by the Techo Catalan high priests in Spain. But we all scream murder when we hear that the so called industrials have added MSG to the Asian take away soup. So from that point of view it was great to see that focus is on authenticity and back to basics.
We don’t go out to eat – we are out and need to eat.
This is another subtle shift that has happened over the past few years. A large part of Foodservice is now about supplying people on the move with what they need much more than catering to that special occasion when they go out.
The new railway stations are now the new high street locations. It started with Termini in Rome a few years back but now Berlin and St. Pancras also have new rail travel hubs that showcase all the latest innovations in Foodservice.
Once I get my notes sorted out I shall be back with more details[/lang_en]