On a recent trip to Adelaide, my mission was to discover what’s new in food. Always searching for innovative concepts, passionate operators who dare to go the extra mile, and destinations that offer amazing experiences.
Summer is definitely the time to visit as the city and surrounding areas come alive through the numerous arts festivals, sporting events, food markets and events. The refurbishment of the Adelaide oval and a calendar of events attracting locals and tourists provides opportunities for food operators to leverage from the increased foot traffic. As a result, a number of dining enclaves and pop-up events have continued to excite and attract crowds of people looking to eat and drink before or after an event, or just soak up the social energy while grazing over a share plate and a good local wine or two. Discovering the fine local food, wines and craft beers is now more accessible in the CBD, inner suburbs or on a road trip to the Barossa or McLarenvale.
After the new liquor license for small venues was introduced in 2013 a laneway culture has emerged in the CBD as well s a range of unique bars and licensed casual eating concepts across town. While there is still an obvious absence of national brands in the licensed all day casual dining category (GYG, Mad Mex, Schnitz & Grill’d) the new local innovators of food and beverage have emerged triumphantly.
Look out for the innovative crew lead by Stuart Duckworth creating youthful and artful venues and pop-up events:
- Royal Croquet Club
- Royal Raj Racquet Club
- Miss Miami Crabshack
- Miss Lee’s Laundry & Bar
- Little Miss Mexico
- Golden Boy
- Griffin Place – Mr Kims, Rocket Bar, Electric Circus, Rooftop Bar & Cinema
Peel Street – CBD Laneway
A laneway destination full of ‘on trend’ casual restaurants and bars by passionate and visionary operators is a hit with all ages seeking a vibrant and laid back night out. Peel Street offers just that and more! Spanish, Mexican, Serbian, Italian and more clever casual food, inventive cocktails, great wine & beer – day and night.
- Mexican bar Chihuahua
- The Clever Little Tailor
- Bread & Bone
- Peel Street
- The Kaffana
- Maybe Mae
- La Moka
- La Rambla Tapas Bar
Casino & CBD area
- Sean’s Kitchen
- Madam Hanoi
- Jamie’s Italian
- 2KW Rooftop Bar & Restaurant
- Street & Orana
- Downtown HDCB
Suburbs and Shoreline
- Si Senorita – Holdfast Shores
- Café Troppo – Whitmore Square
- Vietnamese Laundry – Sturt Street
- Adelaide Market – CBD
- Maggie Beer
- Langmeil Winery
While there will always be a market for cheap, fried fast food, it is interesting to observe that both McDonald’s and KFC are developing new concepts in a bid to align with consumers and increase market share. Creating brands in the casual dining arena allows access to a broader consumer base and the ability to trade across a range of day parts with a higher spend per customer.
The recent success and expansion of brands including Grill’d, Guzmen y Gomez, Mad Mex and Schnitz and the increased consumer demand for healthier, freshly made food is likely to have influenced these directions in Australia.
There have been numerous comments on KFC’s proposed introduction of beer and cider on their menu at a store destined for Sydney’s Parramatta and McDonald’s new healthy concept cafe “The Corner” in Camperdown.
KFC – Proposed at Church Street, Parramatta
Currently waiting on licensing permits and social ramifications of aligning alcohol with what has been perceived as a ‘family and kids’ brand in Australia, KFC expands its offer to capture the more lucrative slice of the market. Researching their stores overseas highlights that it’s not just about adding alcohol to the menu. It appears that the stores have a different look and feel, although an off shoot brand with a different name could be a more palatable option
KFC sells a selection of beer in Canada
McDonald’s – The Corner Cafe – Camperdown
Will this format replace the bland McCafe model? Strategically located across from the Royal Alfred Hospital in Camperdown, an American style healthier food cafe has been launched. The rebranding and store fit out meets the appeal of todays young and hip cafe crowd with the inclusion of sustainable style packaging, design your own salads, wraps and rolls, grab and go items with coffee in a relaxed environment.
The Corner Cafe by McDonald’s – Healthy salad
The next question is – will McDonald’s move to introducing alcohol as they have in Paris and Germany?
2014 set the foundation for change in food and beverage across the country, and in the later half, provided a taste of what’s in store for 2015. We have identified the rise of pop up stores and food truck gatherings, foodie markets day and night, the refresh and refurbishment of numerous shopping centres, increase in apartment dwellings providing a lifestyle food offer, interactive fresh food markets and halls, the recognition of value in neighbourhood centres and strategically placed food and beverage destinations within the CBD and urban landscapes. The common denominator contributing to the success and destinational appeal of retail and leisure locations is FOOD. These are all spaces to watch as the market becomes increasingly competitive to meet changing consumer demands while retail, CBD and entertainment precincts vie for market share.
FOOD & RETAIL TRENDS for 2015
- Supermarkets and specialty fresh food halls – become social destinations, providing a more sensory experience combining take home purchases with gourmet dine-in opportunities.
Mercato e Cucina – Sydney
- Specialty food concepts – approachable and egalitarian featuring ethnicity, single concept, authentic themes with a story to tell and a conviction to their origins. Demise of the standard cafe with everything.
- Trading hours – centres, shops and CBD locations dare to be more flexible to meet the needs of the NOT just nine to five workers. Sustainable businesses trading from breakfast until late. Finding their niche and responding to the needs of the people in their trade area.
- Design and concept development – this is the year to think outside the box! Rethinking what constitutes a destination, creating multiple destinations within a destination, deconstructing, externalising and removing the tired old design formats and constraints of the typical shopping centre configuration or food destination layout. Challenge the status quo and understand what the future will present.
- Personalised service – with ethical, civic and community links. Well trained staff with a stake in their customers requirements and an acute awareness of their shopping patterns and product preferences.
- American style food concepts – crab shacks, more meat and smokin’ hot grills, including bacon flavours, marinating and in house smoked products to rival the Aussie BBQ.
- Food tourism – creating destinations and marketing strategies to appeal to the increasing number of foodie tourists travelling the globe.
- Health and well being – substituting processed grains, flour and butter with compounds made from natural nuts, grains and seeds. Nut butters, coconut, agave syrup are a few new desirable ingredients sought after in products ready to consume. Paleo food, fermented vegetables and raw foods, unbaked desserts with key superfood ingredients will increase and become more mainstream. All natural cold pressed juices and tonics will continue on their upward trend. New ways to access protein – insects as a snack or ingredient.
- Provenance – is becoming increasingly important to the masses. A social conscious is more widely spread across communities who wish to support local producers, reduce carbon footprints and be reassured that their food is natural, fresh and from an ethical source.
- Coffee Culture – the nation is now full of coffee addicts and conisseurs, loyal to coffee blends and fine baristas. Serious brands will concentrate on roasting, blending and producing volumes of ‘coffee to go’ with minimal food.
- More pop ups, food trucks and artisan collaborations taking place eg: (Mountain Goat Brewery and Meat Mother is one example amongst many creating short term events to excite the public).
- Luxury ice cream, gelato and yogurts – adult iced confectionary made with the finest ingredients and not just served in a cone.
- Craft beers and micro breweries – creating and experimenting with brews of beer and cider. Experimenting with flavour profiles and infusions. Pairing with great food providing an egalitarian destination for social gatherings.
- More Markets – showcasing local and artisan produce, street food and cultural dining events. Bringing growers and producers to the public day and night at various locations, festivals and events. Redevelopment and design of city market places creating community and tourist destinations.
- Technology and social media- more food and coffee apps to assist the tech savvy and time poor consumer. Analytics through use of technology to capture and measure consumer purchase patterns, behaviours and product preferences to increase efficiencies, create sales opportunities and provide a new style of loyalty rewards.
- Sensory dining – in a controlled environment where climate, sound and visual projections heighten the experience together with amazing food themes.
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet in Shangahai