Saturday, August 29, 2020

Foodservice Consumers Can, Do, and will Evolve with Brand Leadership

Chain restaurants try to protect their brand, coddle loyal customers, invite new consumers with Limited Time Offers, (LTO’s) that simultaneously grow both the brands and consumer relevance according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
When the team at Foodservice Solutions® reviewed the new research from The NPD Group that found Digital restaurant ordering by adults 65 and older increases 428% year-over-year in June it was clear that you can teach old dog’s new tricks 9 (so to speak).  Simply put force to adapt or not give customer what they want and need will drive top line sales and bottom line profits according to Johnson.
Yes, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the world and how we react to even the basic of things including buying food, meals, and eating out. Some media reports say that the adoption of technology by companies of all types has move forward by five years over the past six months.
Clearly technology has driven many changes in consumer behavior, and among the most impactful is the rapid rise in using technology to order from a restaurant for takeout, TOGO, or delivery.
That NPD Group study reported, “the percent of restaurant traffic sourced to digital increased from 5% in January 2020 to 13% in June 2020. Digital orders increased by 135% in June compared to a year ago.”
So, get this the major contributor to those increases were older Americans, NPD found. In June, adults 65 and older increased their digital ordering by 428% and adults 55 and older increased their digital ordering by 200%.
David Portalatin, NPD’s vice president, food industry advisor stated “We’ve seen this not just in food, but across the economy,” said. “Older Americans are learning e-commerce because they find themselves vulnerable.”
The point is: forced to evolve, consumer did.  Even more important as Foodservice Solutions® team reminds regular blog readers regularly consumer move forward not backwards seeking new meus ideations, bolder flavors. Continued technology adoption is something that is here to stay.
According to the Pew Research Center73% of adults 65 and older are Internet users, up from just 14% in 2000. More than half of people 65 and older are now smartphone owners. So, when digital ordering, a growing number of consumers, including older adults, are increasingly accessing restaurants through third-party aggregators. Use of these third-party services has doubled since the pandemic began, NPD found, with 54% of March, April and May buyers not having used them in the prior six months.

“[Adults 65 and older] are the ones who weren’t even ordering digital before,” said Portalatin. “So we’re bringing a lot of new people along here.”
Once again not unlike everyone else, older adults are showing a preference for quick-service restaurants, NPD found. In the month of June, quick-service visits from adults 65 and older declined 9% versus a year ago. Meanwhile, full-service visits, the segment they visit the most, declined 38% versus a year ago. During the same period, quick-service visits from adults 55 and older declined 11%, and full-service visits 39%.
No matter what the driver of change is like the pandemic it has fast-tracked seniors’ adoption of digital ordering, consumer like food discovery and there is little likely hood that they will all return to the old ways. 
Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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