Market insight: What consumers want now

Brita Professional has conducted new research which it says reveals the future of foodservice...

New research from Brita Professional has revealed that changing consumer expectations have led to a rise in innovation and new concepts from hospitality and catering providers. Following the pandemic, hospitality and catering businesses have recognised the need to adapt to ensure their future success. With 95% of businesses agreeing consumers expectations of hospitality have changed since Covid-19 pandemic, it comes as little surprise that 88% of businesses have used this time to reflect on their business strategy.

Brita’s latest research reveals that:

  • Almost half (45%) of hospitality businesses believe that consumers want an enhanced experience when eating and drinking out
  • Having spent so long at home, 44.5% of businesses believe there will be a greater demand for meals and drinks that consumers can’t recreate at home
  • Despite this, an almost equal amount (45%) believe that consumers want better value for money
  • And 59% believe consumers want restaurant-quality food for home delivery and takeaway

In response to these changing expectations, 55% of hospitality and catering businesses have introduced new concepts, altered their menus (48%) or updated their equipment (38%) in order to improve productivity. This shows that, despite the unprecedented changes hospitality and catering businesses have faced, the industry has proven its ability to adapt.

The study also reveals that almost nine out of 10 agree their business can react quickly to changes in circumstance. This is reflected in the priorities of hospitality and catering businesses when it comes to staff training.

Some 46% of respondents said that they will focus on hiring innovative and creative staff in order to futureproof their businesses, and more than a third will make this a focus of their training. A further 65% said that effective teamwork will be a focus for staff training in the future, as well as hygiene and cleaning protocols (43%).  

Steve Buckmaster, director of sales for Brita UK, said: “With an end of lockdown roadmap now in place, businesses have the green light to start preparing for what will hopefully be a normal service this summer. While this has been an extremely challenging time for hospitality and catering businesses, the industry has shown its ability to adapt to changing consumer expectations.

“This research has revealed the need that hospitality businesses have for creativity, innovation and exceptional teamwork. At Brita, we want to support businesses ahead of reopening, so they can hit the ground running.”

With the pressures that the industry has faced over the past year, Brita has put in place measures to support businesses with maintenance of equipment and staff training via its news Expertise Unfiltered: Business Longevity campaign. The move aims to help the hospitality industry to futureproof its businesses, in the wake of Covid-19 and beyond, by offlering an online support hub with information and advice for industry professionals.

The support hub will include a roadmap to business Longevity, top tips articles and a new podcast series called Return, Renew, Reinvent, which is launching later in the year, where hospitality experts will discuss how businesses can ensure longevity in the years to come.

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