Five ways the takeaway food industry is changing

08 Aug 2019

On average, around half of all Australian households order takeaway food each day, but not all are collecting dinner from their local Maccas’ drive-thru. Here’s how the face of fast food is changing in Australia (for the better…)

Australians are certainly no strangers to fast food. In 1879, the country’s first fish and chips shop opened in Melbourne. A century later, KFC, Pizza Hut, Hungry Jacks, MacDonald’s and Red Rooster all opened within quick succession of each between 1968 and 1972.

Fast forward 50 years and the takeaway food market is worth a whopping AU$22 billion. We still love our burgers, pizzas and hot chips – almost 55 per cent of Australians have eaten McDonald’s in the past six months – and while there’s nothing wrong with that, consumers today are craving more than grease with a side serve of guilt.

Our desire for healthier choices is just one factor reshaping the quick service food industry. Read on to discover the others.

 

1: Healthier and more varied options

From wraps to gourmet salads and poke bowls, today’s grab-and-go food options are as varied as they are healthy.

As a community, we’re increasingly concerned with health issues such as food allergies, gut stability and obesity. We want to live longer and stronger, and seek foods that feed these goals. As a result, businesses are tweaking their grab-and-go menus to include choices containing less sugar, fat and salt, and more fresh, clean, whole ingredients.

Today, an increasing number of consumers also follow strict diets such as paleo, keto, plant-based and Whole 30 (to name a few). To keep up, successful businesses now offer a greater choice of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, low GI and dairy-free takeaway food options.

 

2: Delivery services

Like all industries, the global takeaway delivery market is experiencing a tech revolution. Third party food delivery apps like UberEats and Deliveroo not only cater to time-poor people, they also widen the range of foods available to the discerning take-away customer. Food delivery services effectively turn full-service restaurants – most without delivery or takeaway infrastructure – into fast food providers. So the mouth-watering crab linguine you had at that little Italian place down the road? It can now be delivered directly to your door.

 

3: Faster and cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better

Traditionally, takeaway businesses placed emphasis on fast and affordable, rather than on food quality. But as Australian consumer trends swing towards healthier choices, so too does their preference for freshness, flexibility and greater cuisine diversity. Value is now measured by these markers, not simply the price tag on the item.

 

4: Grab and go – especially at breakfast time

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, yet people’s busy lifestyles and hectic schedules often leave very little time for their morning meal. This has led to an increase in demand for quick, easy to eat breakfast foods that customers can grab on the run.

In fact, the grab-and-go takeaway food category is one of the biggest driving forces in Australia’s convenience food industry – in 2016 it grew by 18.5 per cent to a value of $465 million. Breakfast accounts for 10 per cent of our takeaway spend with options like yoghurt and berry trifles, chia cups, egg wraps and healthy home-made tarts all popular choices. Oh, and don’t forget those fresh, barista-made takeaway coffees!

 

5: Sustainability and community

Not only are customers changing what they’re consuming, they’re also putting greater emphasis on what it’s served in. Recent research revealed that 32 per cent of Australians prefer products that are sold in environmentally-friendly packaging.

In response, pressure is being put on the food and beverage industry to lead the war on waste. Customers – in particular Gen Z, the youngest adult generation – are overwhelmingly willing to pay more for products that have a positive social and environmental impact. They want to know where their food comes from (is it local?), what it’s served in (can it be composted or recycled?) and if the business is minimising waste in the kitchen. They also like to see food businesses donating waste to charitable organisations and those in need.

 

Looking for an incredible selection of fresh, healthy, home-style meals? The Black Truffle is committed to creating quick, grab-and-go options suited to a wide range of dietary requirements. From chia cups at breakfast to fresh nourish bowls and salads at lunch, and low-fat, nutritious dinners for the whole family, we’ve got your heathy meals covered.

 

All the takeaway meals pictured are made in-house at The Black Truffle. Pop in to discover these and many more.