In this Blog post, we want to raise awareness about the latest Food Display Trends.
Innovation and technology
This year’s World Fair is called Expo Milano 2015. It takes place in the northern Italian city of Milan throughout October. The used theme is “Feeding the Planet; Energy for Life”.
It’s focusing on innovative ways to explain and tackle global concerns such as waste, hunger, poverty and pollution. Furthermore, it provides a staging ground for innovative new ways to display and sell food. And with 20 million people visiting the Expo and a World Fair history of having introduced and popularised now common foodstuffs such as ice cream cones and hot dogs, it’s not surprising that many people pay attention to what was on display.
Mobile Technology for Food Display Trends
Many of these innovations have to do with retail food outlets. Those are involved in the use of mobile technology to help customers understand food display trends:
For example, Sommelyou is a virtual sommelier app for use in restaurants, supermarkets, and at home. This helps you choose the perfect wine at all times. Tapfood is a mobile application which lets pizzerias manage their orders by optimising the wait, delivery and pickup times of orders received over the counter and via telephone. There were also apps to help consumers take food allergies into account when shopping for groceries, eating out and planning meals.
Supermarkets of the Future
But possibly the most relevant exhibition was the Supermarket of the Future in the Future Food District. It combined interactive displays with new technologies. This helps to show how food will be produced, distributed, prepared and consumed in the future. Through an extremely user-friendly system they are able to access information on an overhead screen about where the product come from, the production and the transportation to the store (as well as nutritional and health details). To do that the shopper placed their hand over the product of interest. The idea was to direct behavioral change through creating informed customers. This is one of the most sophisticated food display trends.
Big box stores thinking small
In the US, retail giant Target suffered a major cybersecurity breach a couple of years ago. However, it is fighting to regain trust in its brand by overhauling its grocery departments.
In one of its huge SuperTarget stores in Minnetonka, Minnesota, it’s testing out the concept of giving more store space and creating new layouts to more “local and better-for-you” products. This is the traditional domain of smaller markets and specialty shops.
Fresh produce is displayed in “an open market” style with more room devoted to granola, yogurt, fresh-baked artisan breads and grass-fed meat. The more open-plan market feel is backed up by more “playful signs and displays”. They are highlighting healthy options, cross-merchandising and information on how to use ingredients.
Target’s move towards what it calls a “grocery reinvention” is based around commandeering a style of merchandising and display. It was once the preserve of smaller stores. They are adding little to their stock, just redistributing what they have to give the impression that they are adapting to the needs of their customers. Something which any owner of a big box store can do with clever positioning of retail display units, shelving and display cabinets and customised signage.
Fast food – the healthy option
The New Yorker’s November issue concentrated on the emergence of a new style of dining and shopping for food. It focuses on health as well as speed. Pointing out that, even in a nation renowned for its super-size portions and high obesity rates, 2015 has been the first year since 1970. That was when “McDonald’s will closed more locations in the US than it opens”.
Instead, the article Freedom from Fries argues, fast food has come to mean restaurants. Examples are Sweetgreen which focuses on serving salads and fresh soups. There “you can purchase in three minutes and eat in five”. Another exaple is Lyfe Kitchen. It’s the co-founder of which sees his brand becoming “the McDonald’s of the future… the healthy, inviting, sustainable McDonald’s”.
As well as the served food seems to be healthy, there’s a great deal of emphasis on these new-look food outlets having the right décor. Lyfe Kitchen’s customers “sit at reclaimed-wood tables on chairs made from recycled water bottles”. They choose from menus coded three ways to differentiate everything; vegan or vegetarian; and gluten-free.
Food Display Trends focus on local Food
The same article included data from research company Technomic. It showed that 73% of people aged between 22 and 37 would be more likely to buy food described as “local”. It also talked about large herb gardens at the entrance to restaurant chains. These are all part of a “health halo” which savvy foot stores can adopt which they market fresh, healthy produce.
To get the right look and feel for your food displays to buy into this style of marketing means getting the information about the source of the food. It also means giving that information to your customers. Therefore you should use good signage which talks directly to farmers and suppliers. The right sort of retail display will also reflect a local and natural narrative. This happens by using natural products such as recycled wooden crates. And again, letting customers know the source.
If any of these trends have inspired you to change the way your company does business – contact Mills Display. Find the right custom solution or off-the-shelf products. Download a catalogue, email us or talk to one of our salespeople on Live Chat for more information. Also, take a look at our 8 innovative retail merchandise display ideas for you.
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