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Why food is reshaping the modern shopping centre

Food is fast becoming the new retail frontier as people across the world seek dining experiences to add to their social calendars.

At Kiwi Property, we’ve been actively addressing the surge in demand for food experiences, reflected by the recent delivery of our dining lanes, The Brickworks and The Grove Dining District, at LynnMall and Sylvia Park.  It’s also reflected in our remixing efforts across our retail portfolio and in developments, such as the new Langdons Quarter contemporary food precinct at Northlands and the sophisticated casual dining experience within the Galleria retail project at Sylvia Park.

We asked our independent food advisor, Francis Loughran, Founder and Managing Director of Future Food, why he believes food is reshaping the shopping centre environment.  He had this to say:

Is it possible that the modern lifestyle destination will drop the four-letter word M.A.L.L. as it reinvents itself as a mixed-use offering featuring food, hospitality, entertainment and other experiential asset-growth segments?

Looking across New Zealand and the world, it is clear our shopping centres, malls, retail precincts – whatever you want to call them – are no longer single-purpose shopping malls, they are mixed-use spaces offering so much more than product-focused retail.

Changing customer needs and behaviours bring new opportunities to our lifestyle destinations through food, hospitality and entertainment. The ever-changing demands of consumers is one of the biggest concerns our clients have as they seek to tailor buildings, spaces and experiences fit for the modern lifestyle. Those consumer behaviours are constantly evolving. Reacting and responding to global trends and individual needs, consumers now demand a highly customised lifestyle. As people seek more ways to connect in real time and extend their social experiences, food is a big component of this.

12 signs that food is the new frontier

As advisors to the retail industry, we are witnessing a number of important changes in the sector:

  • the shopping centre is now a food and hospitality destination.
  • vegan and vegetarian options are growing fast and millennials are demanding quality and choice – fast food is no longer the go-to food.
  • fresh food markets are continuing to grow in New Zealand and overseas.
  • entertainment will continue to grow as food and hospitality increases.
  • the evening economy is growing and will continue to do so.
  • home delivery for food will evolve and include more choices in beverages and desserts.
  • food tenancies will grow sales by focusing on home, office and venue deliveries.
  • shopping centres will be defined by their food and hospitality credibility.
  • hospitality groups are now replacing Mum and Pop fast food operators.
  • fast food operators are elevating their offer to introduce table service.
  • quick service operators will offer table service and alcohol as part of their strive to elevate service and maximise average spend.
  • beautiful spaces are now the norm, not the exception.