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Technomic has identified five key trends for 2014 that it expects to play major roles at British restaurants:
1. Catering to the Millennial customer: Expect to see restaurant operators amplify efforts to target these consumers via foods and brands that appeal more directly to a Millennial demographic. Also watch for new mobile apps and digital tools that integrate seamlessly into Millennials' lifestyles.
2. The evolution of pubs: Classic British pubs will push even harder in 2014 to transform and grab market share from conventional restaurants by focusing more attention on creating upscale, premium food and drink (particularly speciality coffee and American craft beer).
3. Honest chicken: Emerging chicken-focused concepts will flourish in 2014, a trend closely tied to growing consumer interest in sourcing, preparation and menu transparency. Expect to see chicken increasingly described as "free-range," "locally sourced" and "hand-battered."
4. Migration of street food: Chefs are looking to global street foods for menu inspiration for their brick-and-mortar restaurants. Expect trendy street-inspired dishes to star on menus, while also watching for dynamic flavor mashups from different cuisines and the continued growth of food trucks serving ethnic and fusion street foods.
5. Telling the sourcing story: Transparency is now top-of-mind for operators who want to keep customers confident in their brand. Next year will bring a surge in brand campaigns communicating quality and traceability. Watch for package logos denoting animal welfare standards, in-restaurant signs documenting supplier sourcing, and marketing initiatives focusing on the use of British and Irish products.
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