Regular readers of this blog know that consumer migration from cooking from scratch, too dinning out nightly have become adversely disrupted as consumer migrate from one set of dinning norms to another. Driven by The 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome consumer demand fresh food fast that is ‘better-for-you’ and that they can eat while watching TV at home according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Here is another recent report that finds Americans are expecting to both dine out less and spend less per meal in 2018. AlixPartners, a global consulting firm found that “Overall, consumers said they plan to spend an average of $14.95 per meal this year, down from the $15.20 they said they spent over the past year. Furthermore, 31 percent of respondents in the survey said that “lower price” was “important” or “very important” to them in defining value, vs. 21 percent who said that in a similar AlixPartners survey released in the spring of 2017.
One again this study found that the fast-casual sector may be hardest hit this year in terms of dining occasions. Even more important according to the survey, fast food has surpassed fast casual for as the preferred spot for lunch, with just 32 percent of diners in this year’s survey picking fast casual as their preferred location for lunch, down from 37 percent in AlixPartners’ survey of a year ago—while fast food was preferred for lunch by 35 percent in this year’s survey, up from 30 percent in AlixPartners’ survey of a year ago.
Adam Werner, global co-head of AlixPartners’ Restaurant, Hospitality and Leisure Practice stated “We’re starting to see a shift in spending patterns among the millennial generation, and restaurant operators need to be prepared,” “A lot of focus in recent times has been on the buying patterns of this generation, but it’s important to understand that Millennials are now having families and children, and that their spending priorities are beginning to reflect that.”
Restaurant disruption is well underway according to the survey, both delivery and take-out are expected to decrease slightly in the year ahead, particularly at fast-food and casual restaurants, with consumers saying they expect their monthly delivery and take-out orders to dip 11 percent (to an average of 3.34 visits this year) and 8 percent (to an average of 1.67 visits), respectively, vs. their number of visits in the past year.
Meanwhile, meal-kit services (services such as Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Sun Basket, etc.) seem to be slow in gaining consumer adoption, according to the survey, with only 18% of respondents having tried such a service. In addition, 68 percent of those who said they haven’t tried a meal-kit service say they don’t plan to try one in the near future.
Yes, we saved the best information for last. The survey results also suggest that grocerant niche ready-to-eat meals from grocery and convenience stores could be becoming a bigger threat to restaurants, with 25 percent of respondents citing such meals as a way to reduce restaurant spending, up from 19 percent in the AlixPartners survey released a year ago.
Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for new product ideations or positioning assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®. Since 1991 www.FoodserviceSolutions.us of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or 253-759-7869