What are 4 food trends that are changing Singapore’s taste buds?
Food trends in Singapore have always been unapologetic, given that this beautiful island food culture is a world on its own. While global trends find their way in and influence local food habits, at the end of the day – the people who live here have the ultimate say on what works and what doesn't. From the recent plant-based protein surge to the rise of robotic chefs, many trends have taken the nation by storm.
Let's look at four of the current food trends in Singapore.
Four current food trends in Singapore
There's a ghost in the kitchen
Is it even possible to see a list of trends without the mention of cloud technology? So many industries are getting revolutionized by this virtual approach to aligning kitchen operations to food delivery demands. The Food and Beverage world is no different as cloud kitchens are rising in popularity. The cloud kitchen (or ghost kitchen) market in Singapore is expected to grow to SGD 1.05 billion by 2023. So, why are they so in vogue these days? The fact's that recent events like the pandemic and the economic slowdown have left a bad taste in the mouths of F&B entrepreneurs. It has made them pursue a more optimised and longer-term model of creating revenue by catering to a steady customer base.
Local produce – world-class quality
Earlier this year, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) released the country's official Food Statistics report, which reported a healthy increase in local food farms. As of this year, there are over 260 local farms. It marks an important step as over 90% of Singapore's food is imported – despite having such a vibrant culinary culture with access to world-class produce. Some reasons for the newfound interest in local produce are the demand for fresh and nutritious ingredients, the lower impact on the environment, and the desire of customers to support small businesses in the communities they live in.
Robots, restaurants & beyond
Robots are coming to the rescue for restaurants. But it's not always the way we imagine them to be. Are there robot servers who help deliver great restaurant experiences? Yes, of course. Can they communicate with and engage with customers? Sure, they can. However, robotic technology has a much larger impact than just driving awesome customer service experiences. Robots are used in the backend to manage crucial parts of the cooking or cleaning processes - thereby streamlining operations and reducing dependency on manual labour. Given today's economic slowdown, this enables huge cost savings – which can be a make-or-break moment for the restaurant.
Is it a piece of meat or a part of a plant?
Unless you've been digitally detoxing for years, you may have already heard about the skyrocketing popularity of plant-based food and beverages in Singapore. The hype is very real, folks, as the island is already poised as a centre for plant-based innovation – supported by government bodies like Singapore Food Agency. Together with forward-thinking businesses, they are helping create and promote alternative proteins using chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, and kidney beans instead of traditional meat products like chicken, fish, etc. This new category of food also checks all the boxes for today's conscious eater, as plant-based meat is cruelty-free, vegan, low-carb, and gluten-free.
There are other trends that have been showing up across the island – as people are starting to take notice. These include spud milk, probiotic-rich menus, insect-based protein, highly-intelligent self-service kiosks, and more. So, only time will tell if these will show up as serious contenders to replace age-old traditional practices. But one thing's for sure. Singapore will continue to be trendy in adapting and changing its food culture to suit the needs of modern customers in a dynamic and diverse society.
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