Fundamental Shifts in Food and Dining

Written by trendbible

16 February 2017

As trend forecasters, our job is to identify those big shifts in lifestyle, mindset and behaviour. Evaluating past and current behaviours often helps us see patterns and uncover new consumer needs and we spot opportunities for brands to capitalise on these.

In this blog post we share three fundamental shifts in the way that food and drink is prepared and consumed at home in 2017 and what this might mean for the future.

The Dining Table

Fundamental Shifts Image

Over the past decade the dining table has adopted many additional roles. Shifting from its primary focus as a place for the family to share a meal, to a piece of furniture that has to perform for many other activities, from work to hobbies and DIY. In fact, a third of British householders actively avoid the dining table because it’s covered in papers and reminds them of work according to a 2016 study by pasta brand Giovanni Rana.

Being able to seamlessly transition from one ‘role’ to the next is an important consideration for dining furniture and associated homeware products. We also expect to see consumers seeking to create more division between the table as a ‘work’ space and ‘social’ space. As a result being able to dial up or down the ambience of the whole room with lighting and decoration becomes a focus. We expect to see householders making dinner an event, setting the atmosphere and nurturing a shared experience.


Fundamental Shifts Image2

Snacking is no longer constrained to just moments of indulgence but has become an essential part of how we eat. A key driver for this is the shift from group-led to individualised routines. In fact, nearly half of all adult eating occasions now happen alone (The Hartman Group). This isn’t necessarily about being physically alone, but being able to follow your own routine or eating schedule, completely independent of those around you. Whilst there is an increase in the time families spend together in the same room, physically, it is evident that our attention is in completely separate places. Portable devices allow members of the household to cocoon in an individual ‘virtual room’. This is creating even more demand for individual, everyday snacking options. As these smaller, quicker meals become a way of life, the health benefits and more mindful ways of consuming them will be crucial.

Lunch on the Go

Fundamental Shifts Image3

Health and wellbeing trends are causing consumers to pay much more attention to their lunch, moving away from fast-food to more healthy pre-prepared meals. Convenience continues to be an important driver and as such, pre-planning is set to be one of the biggest trends in food prep this year. Consumers are willing to invest time on a Sunday evening to plan and prepare healthy meals ahead of time so that they don’t have to think about it through the week.

The rise in mindful prepping means consumers are not just thinking about feeding themselves. Instead, it’s about saving money, time and making food go further. There will be an opportunity to create products that help store and keep food fresh. Bigger and more organised fridge/freezer storage will be a key need in the home and visually appealing on-the-go storage will be important for style conscious consumers.

The International Home + Housewares Show, held annually in Chicago USA, features more than 2,100 exhibitors across home accessories, appliances, kitchen and serveware. Trend Bible will be presenting ‘Home & Interiors trends for 2018’ at the show on Saturday 18th March. If you’d like to learn more about future trends in food and dining or meet with our Trend Strategist, Helen Jamieson, in Chicago – please get in touch.

If you won’t be able to attend the show this year, Trend Bible are publishing a full report analysing the key trends you need to be aware of in an easy to digest digital document. Preview last year’s IH&HS report by clicking ‘download now’ to the right of this post. 

Overall a great day which involved getting everyone's thoughts, ideas and reservations down on paper. I am looking forward to seeing how this information will be overlaid with the vital trend insights we need to drive new product development and long-term business growth.

Our Top Picks


Follow us on Twitter
Contact Us

Enter your details below to log in

Looking for more?

Contact us at for further details on our Baby & Kids Edit subscription packages.