With all the challenges on their plate, foodservice operators find being forced to eat the high cost of food waste one of the most pressing. The 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) found that about seven in ten restauranteurs consider food waste critical enough to warrant closer monitoring and increase tracking.1
As the millennial obsession with shifting snacks from guilty pleasures to healthy treats causes food operators to reassess and reinvent old favorites, chocolate sales have been bittersweet. Still a hugely popular snacking staple, chocolate generated $18 billion in 20151 and sales are projected to reach $25 billion in 2019.2 But an array of healthy snack options, including nutritional bars, nuts and chips, is eating into the chocolate market.
UBS analyst Steven Strycula told CNBC that there is “a lot more snacking alternatives or substitutable occasions that is taking people away from traditional sugar confection and also that everyday kind of chocolate purchase."1
Size matters in the foodservice industry. Small operators can’t help but feel a twinge of resource envy when they consider the sheer magnitude of national chains. But the fact is, the pie is so big there’s a lot of opportunity that small operators can sink their teeth into. With 9 in 10 consumers fessing up that they enjoy going to restaurants and half of them going so far as to say that restaurants are an essential part of their lifestyle,1 the American love affair with eating out continues to grow. In 2010, restaurant industry sales reached $586.7 billion; this year, the figure is projected to hit $782.7 billion.
A feast of devices and digital marketing channels has created a feeding frenzy for marketers hungry to reach new customers and retain existing ones. As we explored in “Marketing on the Menu,” digital marketing is a must-or-bust proposition for today’s restaurant operations. To keep pace with a digitally accelerating marketing environment filled with digitally savvy consumers, you need to capitalize on the foodservice trend of tapping into tech and get a handle on what it brings to the table.
Leaves aren’t the only thing changing this fall season. Snacking trends are changing too as snack-hungry consumers (in particular, millennials) drive consumption to new heights. According to Technomic’s latest Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report, snack attacks are increasing in frequency, with 83% of consumers in 2016 snacking on a daily basis, versus 76% in 2014.1 As their lifestyles become more fast-paced, consumers look for quick food fixes in the form of snacks. And, as healthy snacks grow in popularity, many people are becoming more flexible in how they define snacks and when they consume them.
Before you can whet people’s appetite for your menu, you need to grab their attention—and that involves marketing. But with so many promotions circulating through today’s amazing array of marketing channels, from social (a huge smorgasbord in itself) and mobile to print and broadcast—it’s hard to keep pace with trends and zero in on what works best.
For foodservice operators hungry for growth and higher margins, riding the e‑commerce wave can be very appealing. But understanding e‑commerce, its potential and pitfalls, is essential if you don’t want to come up empty, or worse, in a hole of wasted time and money.
With the rise of social media and devices that keep us connected 24/7, the sumptuous smorgasbord of food promotions has blown up into a full-out feeding frenzy for operators and consumers. And with consumers becoming more and more accustomed to expect digitally disseminated deals across industries, it’s no wonder.
When considering the mega-impact micro markets are having on the food service industry, you can’t help but wonder how the trend started, where it’s headed, and what it means for you and your customers. A macro picture of micro markets can deepen your understanding of them and help you grab a bigger piece of the constantly growing self-service pie.
Let’s face it: We could all use a little schooling when it comes to taking advantage of the opportunities for increased sales and customer loyalty that the back-to-school season presents. Providing healthy options is a hot trend across the foodservice industry, and schools are no exception to the rule.