“The growing access to foodservice delivery has garnered lots of attention from the marketplace and media, but while delivery grabs the spotlight, digital restaurant orders overall steadily grow by double-digits, reports The NPD Group.”
Fast-casual restaurants continue to be a bright spot for the foodservice industry, which has yet to fully recover from the Great Recession. New market research from The NPD Group shows visits to fast-casual restaurants up 8% in 2013 over prior year compared to no growth for the total industry and quick service segment. Analysts say the growth is due in part to consumers trading down from full service restaurants in favor of fast-casual.
Yogurt is a food celebrity and not only has the dairy delicacy conquered increasing real estate at retail, in refrigerators and lunch bags, it’s now a double-digit growth category for many foodservice operations, including colleges/universities, hospitals/healthcare, recreation, and eating and drinking establishments, reports The NPD Group. Greek yogurt is the protein star of the category with a double-digit gain.
Consumers want fresh ingredients and choice when they visit restaurants. Although quality for the price is the top value driver for foodservice consumers, fresh ingredients is the second most important factor followed by choice, according to a recently released NPD study. In addition to quality, restaurants should focus on customization and fresh ingredients as these are other important factors in the value equation.
Consumers’ positive outlook on the future indicates that they may increase spending on foodservice in the next year. In order to appeal to consumers and win their foodservice dollars, operators need to consider attitude and lifestyle differences by generation. Although Millennials earn a lower income than older consumers, a greater percentage of Millennials (42%) than Gen Xers (33%) and Boomers (24%) report visiting upscale casual-dining restaurants at least once a month.
Convenience stores are going head-to-head with established restaurant players by rolling out their own, branded foodservice programs that return higher margins while also improving food quality and healthfulness. While seeking to take a slice out of the limited-service restaurant pie, C-stores are also keeping in mind their customers’ broader on-the-go purchasing needs. Packaged Facts projects that convenience store foodservice sales will rise an additional 6% in 2011 and 5% in 2012.