Trend Observation: Zero to Hero

A new pop-up venue in London bills itself as a calorie-neutral restaurant. Situated in Covent Garden, Steam promises that its patrons will leave the eatery having burnt every single calorie they consumed in their meal. The menu includes scallops, chorizo and beef fillet and banana cake. All are cooked using steam to reduce the calorie and fat content. Diners are also invited to take part in stretching to aid digestion, complete dining workouts and to sit on vibrating seat pads while they dine.

The ultimate question

Waistlines are growing across the globe. As a result, people are becoming more conscious of what they eat. Mintel’s Dieting Trends UK November 2012 report has found that 63% of people who are trying to lose weight are opting for smaller portion meals. At the same time, consumers are demanding something a bit more special from the restaurants they choose – especially as financial constraints mean that people are eating out less often.

According to Mintel’s Eating Out: the Decision Making Process UK December 2012 report, 17% of people would visit a new restaurant if it featured interesting entertainment. Steam caters to these issues by offering its diners healthy, interesting fare as well as a more interactive dining experience. These exercises promise to offset the calories ingested, allowing for a guilt-free meal that offers patrons something they’re unlikely to get elsewhere. Other restaurants could launch similar initiatives that encourage a better balance between food intake and energy output. But can other sectors follow suit? Leisure and entertainment facilities that offer customers something above and beyond the norm are sure to see renewed interest and a boost in sales.

This is an observation from our Inspire trend “Sense of the Intense” which looks at how intense physical and sensory experiences are giving life, brands and products deeper meaning. For the latest trends and observations on Inspire, click here.

For a deep and complete analysis of the current situation of the Foodservice industry in the UK, Mintel published the following market research: Foodservice Industry in UK