It’s that time of year when research firms look forward. So when we read these five from Julia Gallo-Torres, category manager, U.S. foodservice reports for Mintel, poses five key U.S. foodservice trends for 2014, we wanted to share them. They are:
pulls ahead: The
impressive growth of the fast-casual segment of foodservice demonstrates
consumers, who are still focused on price and are willing to pay more for
foods they consider to be of better quality or healthier, said
Gallo-Torres. A slew of new concepts focusing on customization, speed of
service and convenience, have sprouted. These include higher quality
burger chains; concepts more firmly focused on health, and a rash of pizza
restaurants that can deliver a fully-cooked, customized pizza in a matter
- Premium proves
concepts are mimicking the winning ways of fast-casual restaurants. For
example, several full-service brands are testing or have launched concepts
that utilize the speedier fast-casual service model. This is important,
especially during the lunch rush, she said, when consumers don't have the
time to wait. Other tactics include launching healthier, more flavorful
menu items and employing technology to speed up the dining experience.
business practices: More
than ever, foodservice consumers are questioning the origin of their foods
and they are demanding transparency not only in ingredient sourcing, but
in general business practices, including the treatment of animals and
employees. Gallo-Torres said consumers are interested in patronizing
restaurants and buying brands that reflect their own values. Concepts that
understand this and offer more information about their green practices or
the causes they support stand to reap the rewards of increased loyalty.
- Due demographic
have been obsessed with Millennials. It's understandable, as
they are the ones most likely to dine out in almost every restaurant
segment. However, other demographics also present growing opportunities,
such as the growing number of Hispanics, who tend to dine out in larger
groups. Their spending power is expected to reach nearly $1.7 trillion by
2017, meaning serving this rapidly expanding
community will be key to growth. Women visit restaurants less than men, and this is likely due to their being more health- and budget-conscious. This indicates restaurants need to do more in terms of pricing, atmosphere and menu to gain momentum with women. Baby boomers enjoy dining out and have more disposable income than other demographics, but few marketing campaigns specifically target them.
- Technology and interface revolution: Restaurants are increasingly using technology to cut service times, and to offer loyalty programs, promotions and discounts electronically. Furthermore, in-store tabletop tablets and menu boards offer nutritional and other information, while reducing order, wait and check out times. Brands are redesigning their websites to allow consumers to gain all the information they want with as few clicks as possible. This includes making their sites more attractive and useful via smartphones, which consumers rely on more and more for staying organized and gaining information.
Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.