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In Focus: F&B

Local cuisine and zero-alcohol bevvies among growing F&B trends

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Research by Seatrade Cruise indicates that the global food and beverage market is expected to be worth $8.9trn by 2026, with six leading cruise lines accounting for more than $2b in F&B annually.
Local dishes, sustainable seafood and low/zero-alcohol beverages are predicted to be among the leading cruise F&B trends for this year and beyond, while inflation and supply chain disruption are set to continue.

That is according to research conducted by Seatrade Cruise and published in its first-ever Cruise F&B Trends E-Report 2023, which captures the views of leading players in the cruise F&B community, such as ​​F&B suppliers and cruise professionals responsible for food, beverage & hotel operations.

It comes as Seatrade Cruise prepares to launch its inaugural F&[email protected] event in Fort Lauderdale this month - the world’s first event dedicated to cruise dining and drinking. Taking place 28-29 March at Port Everglades’ Terminal 2, it will include practical demos by top chefs and mixologists, various interactive content, and shed light on the issues raised within the survey. It runs in tandem with Seatrade Cruise Global, which takes place 27-30 March, and was developed in close consultation with cruise lines, f&b stakeholders, and culinary leaders with support from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and industry consulting leader MarkeTeam.

Research conducted by Seatrade Cruise indicates that the global food and beverage market is expected to be worth $8.9trn by 2026, with six leading cruise lines accounting for more than $2b in food and beverage annually. 

Our detailed report findings present a unique opportunity for food and beverage suppliers to gain a glimpse into the abundant possibilities for growth within the cruise industry,’ remarked Chiara Giorgi, global brand and event director for Seatrade Cruise. ‘Armed with invaluable insights and an informed perspective, industry executives will find the perfect ecosystem for collaborating and connecting with cruise line decision makers at the inaugural F&[email protected]’ 

The complete Cruise F&B Trends E-Report is available online at https://event.seatradecruiseevents.com/FB_Cruise_TrendsReport with a summary of some key points noted below.

Challenges 

Inflation/price increases (78%), supply chain disruption (76%), as well as longer lead times for restocking/order fulfillment (44%) are among the industry’s top challenges when it comes to F&B. Cruise vessel supply chains within the segment are growing increasingly complex, as several in demand products prove difficult to procure and meet passenger expectations. Namely, seafood and eco-friendly packaging were identified as products in highest demand and lowest availability. 

Local food 

Local gastronomy reflective of cruise itineraries is shown as leading the way through 2023 and in 2024 scoring 61% of votes. It is followed by sustainable seafood with 35%, meat substitutes at 24% and zero-waste cooking at 22%.

While there are Indications of passengers being inclined towards more ethical dining practices, ‘Instagramable’ dining experiences scored higher than for cruelty-free produce.

A thirst for nutrition

Health conscious drinking is set to be another major trend, with low to no alcohol beverages (50%) leading the way followed by health supplement drinks (37%).

Craft-spirit fusions may also prove desirable (37%).

Technology 

The most likely technologies to be seen within F&B moving into the future are ordering/menu apps (61%), artificial intelligence (AI) for predictive ordering and waste management (43%), and contactless ordering capabilities (37%) as convenience takes priority.

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