Winter 2017
Top 10 Industry Trends of 2017

10: A delicious proposition

Remember the millennials—and how large a demographic they are? 75.4 million at last count. Turns out they’re obsessed with food. Is it any wonder then that Instagram feeds are usually populated with food pictures! The popularity of Food Network and shows like Chopped, the explosion in farmer’s markets, craft brews and artisanal breads and cheeses, (even artisanal pickles!) means an ever-expanding palette of specialty retail options to whet the foodie’s appetite.

For the industry, this means more restaurant pop-ups. Mario Batali and Eataly anyone? And a growing variety of food kiosks. Look for trendy gelato concepts, specialty wings and mac-and-cheese entrees. There’s a food outlet in New York City, Rice to Riches, whose entire concept is built on just rice pudding—flavor upon flavor of rice pudding. And with global palates getting ever more adventurous, plain vanilla food options might either become a thing of the past or get hyper-specialized.

Given that consumers are also increasingly watching what they eat, you can expect these food concepts to be served with a healthy side of juice bars and superfoods. Acai bowls and even poke (a Hawaiian fish specialty) might be in and making slow gains in shopping centers. Food concepts that entertain (sushi on a conveyor belt for example) are also poised to win brownie points. All plenty of ideas to chew on.

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Patricia Norins

Patricia Norins serves as VP of Specialty Retail & Publications at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Considered the authority on specialty retail, she has been tracking the industry for the past thirty years. Norins is Publisher of Specialty Retail Report, the voice of the specialty retail industry (carts, kiosks and pop-up stores). SRR has a readership of more than 75,000 each quarter.

Poornima Apte

Poornima Apte is a Boston-area freelance writer and editor specializing in retail and the book publishing industry. Learn more at
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