Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Consumers Fuel Food Focused Meal Magic Trends


Today, the Team at Foodservice Solutions® has a coveted food focused leadership role in social media as well will well over 350,000+ followers on LinkedIn alone. While Technomic founder, Ron Paul, was a mentor to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®, he was also the inspiration for much of what Johnson has accomplished making Foodservice Solutions®, the go-to source for food and foodservice industry insights and strategic advice on Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food.

In new research from the team at Foodservice Solutions found the following 10 trends are most likely to have the greatest impact within the foodservice category 2024:

1. Sustainable Plant Based Menu, Side Items including Deserts will Delight

The shift to healthy eating continues with breeze in like a warm wind in the summer. This year Convenience Stores, Dollar Stores, Service Deli’s, Coffee Drive-Thru’s, and Restaurants will introduce bold flavor, price favorable entrees and side items. Bold Flavors will the top driver for away-from-home purchases.

2. Mix & Match Meal Bundling Customization

Dollar stores will drive down entrée prices with a full range of mix & match affordable options slowing the growth at Fast Food outlets and C-stores. Price with the perceived drive but range of offerings and allow for more consumer customization.

3. Marketing Matters

Daypart dynamics will drive limited-time offers (LTOs) in every sector of retail foodservice as consumers seek to eat out once again.  In 2024 the foodservice competition (marketing messaging) will focus more on daypart than menu item.

4. McDonald’s Global Menu and Copy-Cats

McDonald’s proven global ethnic items such as egg rolls, empanadas and sushi are craveable and will be an example to all brands to expand flavors and rollout existing international successful menu items into the U.S. Adding global flavors to ubiquitous items is another way to add a taste of the world and increase variety. 

5. Branding the Impulse Menu Buy 

Prepared food purchases are frequently a planned purchase among 59% of shoppers, while 41% of shoppers said they buy prepared foods on impulse. Dinner has the highest amount of prepared food buys with 79% of respondents making purchases for that meal, while lunch comes in at 77% and breakfast at 62%.

6. Grocerant: Fresh Prepared

Once again Five Gallon buckets of 21-day shelf-life product won’t sell in the service deli. That kind of food just won’t fly in 2024, as consumers are looking for fresh food and bold flavors. Grocerant niche mix and match bunding of baked goods, fruit, veggies, salads, and dairy items will.

7. Pizza Bundling at C-stores

Delivery of fresh pizza for dinner will continue to drive C-store foodservice sales.  In 2024 the bundling of Milk, Eggs, Bread, Coffee and Ice Cream will be all it takes to garner customer from both the restaurant sector and the grocery store sector.  

8. Indulgent Snacking

Mini-meals driven by full flavored single item the ilk of pint of rich dairy free ice cream, ¾ pound of Pulled Pork, or single serve mac-n- cheese. For those buying dinner for one.

9. Technology 

45% of all restaurant meals are eaten at home. It’s technology via an app or online ordering and delivery that will continue to drive top line sale and bottom-line profits in 2024.

10. Dinner Diner Drama

The drama will unfold in 2024 when we see just who is cooking dinner. Cook from scratch or buy grocerant niche fresh prepared food. Dinner has the highest amount of prepared food buys with 79% of respondents making purchases for that meal, while lunch comes in at 77% and breakfast at 62%.

Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions FIVE P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization? Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit:  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.

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