Posted by: prataap | March 9, 2008

POLARIZATION TREND 2: Eating: Eating Fast, Slow Eating


Eating Fast, Slow Eating

Creating New Ways to Relate

Emerging Trends:

Food based retailing accounted for almost one quarter of the nearly $3 trillion in US retail trade in 2000, and on-line grocery sales were expected to go from $233 million in 1999 to $10.8 billion in 2003 (Food Industry Review 2000). Peapod to, something is shifting here. With that kind of spending on food and the increasing number of people who have limited time to prepare meals concepts of food and eating as we think of them will create many mutation possibilities in the coming years.  

For one, the concept of eating is most likely to free itself from the confines of home and restaurant settings.  Look for a much wider choice of combinations and ways to use eating and food as a medium for social relationships, connecting as yet unrelated activities and people. For example; as food becomes more portable and is condensed into any shape or size, opportunities become endless. You can take it anywhere and combine it with any other activity you chose.

Pushed to its immediate extreme this trend looks like this: you’re and internet billionaire eating farm raised Namibian gazelle in pomegranate crème sauce with a touch of snake venom for bite, while watching Madonna, the opening act for a holographically recreated Beatles re-union concert with Jim Morrison as a cameo, while being on a platform suspended 100 feet over Central Park. This is only for the select many who can afford the $50,000 a plate price tag. The rest of us Hoi polloi can bike in the park with our children on Sunday afternoon and grab food on the go from a “backpack stand” that lets us ride away with a backpack containing just the nutrients we most need for the precise activity we’re engaged in, and in the flavors we most desire with an attachment to the backpack that lets us sip as we walk, run, bike, read, or surf.  

Next generation “take out” is ready to explode around the concept of Entertainment Design. Think of Niketown and Spagos coming together in a limited partnership. Forget the fact that United made such a big deal 5-7 years ago for serving Startbucks coffee ….today, most major airlines are partnering with star chefs to cater to the First Class.  Similarly food bars will pop up in the least expected places. They are at IKEA, coming to Saks, and will soon be in the subway train to Downtown.  Expect them on remodeled Segways as moving hot dog stands.  What’s your partnership idea?

Next Opportunities:

On one hand,  whole new concepts in food stands and “fast food” will be created based on specific activities and someone will sell “ideal” nutrient rich food in the form that’s easiest to transport and eat,  specific to each activity. 

Daily nutritional needs based on your DNA and  personalized just for you, are just around the corner. Now there is a neat little packaged idea.  

The Internet Dinner a la TV Dinner is in a happening niche waiting to be exploited.  Except you won’t be confined to a menu, you’ll be able to order based on qualitative attributes.  I want some “comfort food” or something hot and jazzy” and of course you’ll order on the Iternet or from your cell phone/pda.  And a search engine or bot will offer you choices based on its knowledge of your vocabulary and favorite dim sum, chicken curry, or pad thai and locate the one nearest to you and delivered to wherever you are. Some of this is already possible on GPS/PDA/Mobile,  expect it be jumpstarted with new forms of delivery systems. And if you are at that Pacific resort on a remote island pampering yourself, consult the computer or nutrition monitoring tattoo on your wrist to tell you based on your stored health data, what you ate this week, and what would be ideal for your fine tuned system right now.  And to evolve at the other end of the spectrum will be the wildest combination of exotic locations/activity/food creations combination that will join eating and entertainment in whole new industries. Cirque de Soleil meets Hard Rock Cafe meets Armani.  Fall fashion, food, and entertainment will combine and flourish.  Las Vegas started it years ago and now it will be at an  Entertainment Center near you.  Think of it as the next generation of “multi­dimensional theming” of Entertainment Design and Haute Cuisine.  A decade ago, the introduction of Domino’s Pizza and McDonald’s in movie theaters was considered a big leap from popcorn and soda.  And in the middle will be mundane combinations such as eating and shopping as one activity, not two. Meantime, joggers and Xtreme sport athletes can look out for fanny pack sized Oxygen Generating Systems (OSG) being worked on by NASA to provide optimal octane for the task at hand, cyber or wind surfing.  And to hit a Niketown or CVS near you in the next 3-4 years. Fast or slow or on the go, what’s your choice? Let your imagination run. Create the future and smell the roses, it’s your move!

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