Jorg Hofmann, head of culinary excellence at LSG Group, talks trends, tastes and curious consumers…
Trend-watching is at the core of every business and culinary trends have never moved so fast. The world is so much more connected than it ever was before so the range of ideas feeding into trends is wider than ever. We all have to watch how the landscape is moving, and work out what’s next.
As a global community, LSG Group is lucky as we can draw on our experts in catering, retail and data right across all our operations for a fully-rounded understanding of the consumer and end producers. Together we work to define the relevant trends for ourselves and our customers, we puzzle it out with all the LSG departments’ concepts creators, product developers, marketeers, sales teams, chefs – and create our annual Trends Report, launched last month.
It is clear to us that consumers now are not just buying a product, it is the story, the concept behind that product that makes the difference to them. Passengers are curious consumers and we have to create products to pique that curiousity, draw them in and give them a product with interest and story as well as a great taste.
This year we made a point of identifying some very clear headline trends to help focus development thinking: six market trends we named Shareworthy, No Plan(et) B, Mindfulness, The new NostalgiX, Food Technology, and Things to Watch.’¯ You can read all about them here (Link Trend Report)
These are now helping our chefs and product developers innovate new ideas for our airline customers, they can now drill down deeper with understanding of what customers want, adapting their projects to suit local trends and sourcing.
It is interesting to see that consumers are more and more interested in the catering companies behind airline food and I believe all airline catering companies are brands and must be ready to respond to this consumer curiousity about their products. We are growing our brand to be a name synonomous with premium catering with 360 degree solutions.
In part we are consultants to airlines, helping them develop holistic concepts, giving them a second opinion on things, helping them see the wood from the trees. The trends report helps with that, there were no total surprises in it but the importance of technology and the digitalisation element is noticeably becoming more and more important for the next generation.
Robotics and technological solutions are becoming more important for our business too, potentially offering us ways to improve our processes while maintaining stable and consistent products. More sophisticated food sterilisation and pasteurisation processes are coming to the fore. We are curious to see what they bring and how we can work with them.