Less than half of consultants believe caterers are taking sustainability seriously, despite their conviction that it is the area that will have the biggest impact on the food service industry over the next three years.
The findings were revealed in the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) UK & Ireland insight report, A Taste of the Future, launched today in conjunction with trend analysts Allegra Strategies.
A survey of 64 consultants was conducted on what hurdles and growth opportunities the food service industry could expect between now and 2015.
Top of the industry agenda are sustainability, economic challenges and healthier eating, the report found.
Sustainability was highlighted by 55% of consultants polled as the issue that would have the biggest impact over the next three years, but the research suggested that the food service industry might be guilty of paying lip service rather than actually getting to grips with the issue. Less than half of the consultants (43%) that were quizzed felt that caterers took sustainability seriously.
Rising costs and austerity measures were considered to be the second-largest trends in food service, according to more than half of consultants (52%), while a third (33%) said these were also seen as the biggest risks.
The Department of Health estimates that more than 50% of UK adults could be obese by 2050, but despite this less than half (45%) of consultants highlighted healthier eating as a key trend. When quizzed further, the consultants pointed to a potential tipping point within the industry.
Over three-quarters (76%) agreed that UK consumers were already introducing more meat-free options into their diets, while around half (49%) expected this trend to grow further.
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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