Trend Perspectives by Cynthia Maxwell

Wow! Until this year, we could not order a "Do-It-Yourself-Baskin-Robbins-Sundae-Kit." Complete with two quarts of ice cream, one of your favorite sauces (hot fudge, caramel), two of your favorite toppings (sprinkles, nuts), and a full can of whipped cream. Yes, this quarantine time has generated a whole slew of meal and beverage kits that have kept things fun for consumers.

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According to food trends company, Tastewise, meal kits are up +511%. Will food and beverage kits still be relevant as more and more of us start to populate restaurants and bars again? I believe the key is to keep things interesting. For instance, include famous chef/restaurant recipes, DIY/learning potential, and encourage family time. If food and beverage companies and restaurants can tap into at least one unique trend, the kits category will stay alive! Here are a few that have the potential to linger.

Happy Hour

Staying at home provided consumers with enough creative time on their hands to drive a big bread making trend as well as family bonding meal prep. Zoom happy hours also became a thing. Liquor stores delivered, and companies like Shaker & Spoon provided curated cocktail boxes like the "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Bourbon Box." Restaurants also got in on the delivery cocktail crafting game. Zoli's NY Pizza in Dallas, Texas, offers everything you need, including the vodka, to make their Prickly Pear Moscow Mule. These are just a few examples of the growing expert predicted cocktail kit trend.

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Fast Food Genius

Take out is take out, right? We are pretty used to norms like Chinese food, pizza, and sandwiches, but some fast-food chains gave us genius meal kits.

Smashburger offers Take-and-Make kits for four -everything you need to grill either a Crispy Chicken, Classic Smash, or Smoked Bacon Brisket sandwich, plus tater-tots.

Dunkin Donuts offers a DIY Donut Kit with glazes and sprinkles that will make everyone happy to make and eat! I can see this being a must-have birthday party event for all ages.

Need a gift idea? Auntie Anne's has a DIY At-Home Pretzel kit to bake ten soft mouth-watering pretzels in either original or cinnamon sugar.

Fast-food chicken chain Chick-fil-A is selling Chicken Parmesan Meal Kits. In 30 minutes, consumers can have this yummy meal as Chick-fil-A provides detailed cooking instructions. The choice of three different types of chicken; Original, Grilled, or Spicy, as well as lemon pasta, marinara sauce, Italian cheese, and creamy garlic. I predict this being a date night essential in the future.

Famous Food

In the last three months, Disney released its famous recipes like Tonga Toast and Mickey Mouse Beignets. Recipes for Relief sell famous chef recipes to support the hospitality industry during COVID-19, and restaurants like Rezdora, a New York Times three-star restaurant is selling fresh pasta and sauces to prepare at home from Chef Stephano Secchi.

The mystery of famous recipes will, for sure, continue to peak the foodie consumer's curiosities.

Post stay at home meal and beverage kits offer many benefits that ordinary take out does not-providing the consumer with the ease of a successful meal for family and friends get-togethers, inspiring camaraderie, and tapping into our curious DIY nature. With food delivery interest up over 1,000%, and food and beverage kits staying unique and fun, I look for them to rise as one of the top food and beverage trends of 2020!

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