Kara Bakery Insights

Food and Drink Trends Powering EV Pitstops

20 May 2024

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is sparking a huge shift in the landscape of travel. As service stations evolve to facilitate the newest technologies, EV charging stations are emerging as the new pit stops – but with a fresh perspective. Unlike the quick refuels of the gasoline era, EV charging times can vary, creating a unique opportunity for food and drink brands to cater to drivers in a more holistic way.

We explore Mintel’s newest global report on ‘Targeting EV Drivers with Food & Drink’ to get a sense of the demand for an evolved service, and the need for this evolved service is undeniable. A staggering 72% of U.S. consumers considering an EV express a desire for food and drink options while they charge. This translates to a yearning for a more engaging pit stop experience, one that goes beyond simply filling the tank.

Catering to different dwell times

Understanding “dwell times” – the length of a charging session – is key to catering effectively. For those needing a quick 15-minute top-up, convenient microwave meals or grab-and-go snacks offer a perfect solution. Think healthy protein bars, energy bites, or pre-packaged salads for a nutritious bite on the fly.

For drivers with a bit more time (around 30 minutes), meal kits provide a more interactive experience. Pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions for assembling a fresh and delicious meal on the go are becoming a popular option that caters to those who want a break from the road without sacrificing a satisfying meal.

For extended journeys exceeding an hour, relaxation and combating fatigue become priorities. Beverage brands can offer a range of solutions here – functional drinks infused with natural alertness-boosting ingredients can help drivers stay focused, while calming herbal teas provide a moment of zen for those seeking to unwind.

Extending beyond basic needs

EV drivers, particularly those embracing the electric lifestyle for environmental reasons, appreciate brands that share their values. Transparency reigns supreme – 62% of German consumers want to see carbon footprints clearly displayed on food and drink labels. This allows them to make informed choices that align with their commitment to sustainability. Similarly, 62% of Chinese consumers value water conservation, and brands that highlight water-saving production methods can resonate with this eco-conscious audience.

The EV revolution also extends beyond human drivers’ needs. Pet parent EV drivers, especially Millennials who are highly invested in pet health, represent a growing segment. Catering to these furry companions opens doors for new food and drink options. Calming chews can help pets adjust to the unfamiliar environment of an EV trip, while hydration solutions and fresh breath treats address specific needs. As charging stations become more pet-friendly, expect to see pet food brands entering this space with travel-sized portions and mess-free feeding solutions.

The road ahead

The EV revolution is more than just a change in vehicles; it’s a chance to reimagine the journey itself. By understanding the evolving needs and values of EV drivers, food and drink brands can create a future of convenient, sustainable, and pet-friendly travel experiences. Picture a world where charging stations offer not just a quick energy boost for your car, but a chance to relax, refuel with healthy options, and even pamper your furry travel companion. The road ahead is paved with endless possibilities, and those who adapt will be the ones fuelling the future of travel.

 

As we are committed to innovation at Kara, we are always striving to stay ahead of the curve and ensure our clients are too. Our diverse range of high-quality bakery products is the perfect base to build a modern and favourable EV charging option. Get in touch with us today to speak about how you can begin creating convenient and delicious food options that will keep customers coming back for more!

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