Let's Chat Snacks

The Pluses of Pulses: A Plant-Based Snack Trend Grows

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Aug 14, 2018 8:00:00 AM

In a youth-driven snack market hungry for menu innovation, alternative ingredients have been going through a prolonged growth spurt. Families with children drive the market, and as younger generational cohorts (and their buying power) grow, sales are likely to grow too.1

The popularity of alternative-ingredient snacks are on the rise as demand for better-for-you options steadily increases, particularly in the salty snack segment. The alternative-ingredient snack market posted a 7% growth rate in 2016—a faster rate than salty snacks as a whole.2

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Topics: Millennials, Snacking, Trends

Wake-Up Call: Breakfast-Inspired Menu Innovation Creates a Stir

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Aug 7, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Breakfast and morning snacks are on a roll, serving up the sunny side of the foodservice business. In fact, according to the research firm NPD Group, it’s the only daypart that’s growing.1 With a one percent rise in restaurant traffic for the year ended February 18, breakfast seems to be hatching fresh opportunities at a time when lunch has been flat and dinner down a percentage point.1

If a one-percent rise in traffic seems like a slim slice of success, consider that breakfast is expanding rapidly beyond the morning daypart. Thirty-percent of consumers surveyed are purchasing breakfast items during later dayparts more often than they did two years earlier, according Technomic, a foodservice research and planning firm.2

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Topics: Desserts, Millennials, Snacking, Trends

Go Time: Foodservice Operations Arrive at Takeout and Delivery Solutions

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Jul 31, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Delivery has arrived as a key foodservice trend, traffic driver and revenue engine. Now representing 1.7 billion annual foodservice visits,1 delivery is in the driver’s seat of demand for a faster, more convenient customer experience. With a quarter of U.S. consumers surveyed having ordered delivery in the past three months as of April 2017,1 the delivery phenomenon can be expected to continue to pick up speed.

Increasingly viewed as a foodservice customer service essential, delivery fuels the need for restaurants to consider the most effective ways to integrate it into their operators. The shifting landscape of to-go orders, third-party delivery partnerships and in-house delivery compels restaurants to revisit the design of their physical spaces with an eye toward end-to-end efficiency.

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Topics: Millennials, Restaurant Operations, Snacking, Trends

Sweet Talk: Consumers Love Sweet Snack Trends

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Jul 24, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Americans are sweet on snacks—so much so, according to the market research firm Nielsen, they consumed over 92 billion dollars’ worth last year across the top seven categories.1 While salty snacks have the most sales to savor at $27.72 billion, candy came in second ($20.96 billion), cookies fourth ($7.36 billion) and ice cream fifth ($6.64 billion).1

Technomic, a foodservice-focused research and consulting firm, attributes the popularity of savory flavors to the tendency of American consumers to favor meat, grains, vegetables and cheeses.2 Technomic data indicates that they may view these as better-for-you profiles with lower sugar content.2

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Topics: Desserts, Millennials, Snacking, Trends

Hot Stuff: 2018 Summer Foodservice Trends

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Jul 17, 2018 8:00:00 AM

'Tis the season when foodservice operators can enjoy the gift of high sales—and it’s summertime. Seasonality is a sales catalyst, and summer is no exception when it comes to seasonally inspired flavor profiles and culinary concepts. When temperatures rise, sales can rise too, provided your product mix leverages the summer’s hottest foodservice trends.

According to the foodservice research firm Technomic, seasonal ingredients fuse freshness and uniqueness, and younger consumers are especially receptive to seasonal and limited-time offers.1 Technomic data traces the upward arc of the trend: 47% of millennials surveyed in 2017 agree their preferences change with the seasons, compared to 39% in 2015.1

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Topics: Millennials, Snacking, Trends, Recipe

To Catch a Unicorn: Colorful Foodservice Trend Captures Millennial Market

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Jul 10, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Leave it to the magic of social media to turn the myth of the unicorn into a dream come true for savvy food and beverage brands and foodservice operators. Unicorn food and beverages—those colorful, Instagram-worthy creations that surprise and delight a vast, visually oriented millennial market—are literally custom-made for the age of social media.

“Unicornification” (typically the act of dying food into a dazzling rainbow of pastels, often with a dash of glitter) has morphed everything from cheesecake, fudge, frappes, milkshakes, toast and cocktails into a shimmery, multicolored feast for the eyes.

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Topics: Millennials, Restaurant Operations, Snacking, Marketing

Fruitful Business: Fruit and Veggie Snack Trend Grows Stronger

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Jul 3, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Fruit and vegetable sales may be on their way to becoming the apple of the eye of foodservice operators. As the better-for-you foodservice trend continues to feed growing demand, especially in the wellness-oriented millennial snack market, fruits and vegetables seem likely picks as treats to be consumed between or in place of meals.

In fact, research from the global information and measurement company Nielsen reveals that the snackable fruit and vegetable category is ripe with revenue, generating sales of $16.3 billion in the year ended May 27, 2017.1 In particular, snackers seem to be going bananas for on-the-go fruit and vegetable snack sub-category--a $1.1 billion market with a compound annual growth rate upwards of 10% for 2012-2016.1

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Topics: Millennials, Snacking, Trends

Taste Test: Small Foodservice Operations Nourish New Concepts

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Jun 26, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Small is a big deal when it comes to foodservice operations these days. Just as consumers are gravitating toward locally grown, farm-to-table food options, many are choosing to patronize locally owned eateries that offer authentic cuisine and Instagram-worthy experiences. As Darren Tristano, chief insights officer at the foodservice research firm Technomic explained: “This really seems to be the dawning of the era of the independent. The independents and small chains are now outperforming. The big chains are now lagging.”1

As free online marketing platforms such as Yelp Inc. help raise the profiles of independents, major chains are yielding ground to these millennial-savvy upstarts. The foodservice industry research firm Pentallect Inc. projects a 5% growth rate for independents through 2020, compared to 3% for chains.1 And while sales at the top 500 U.S. chains rose 3.6% last year, the industry as a whole saw larger gains of 3.9%, according to Technomic data.1

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Topics: Millennials, Restaurant Operations, Trends

Mediterranean Flavors Spice Up Foodservice Sales

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Jun 19, 2018 8:00:00 AM

The Mediterranean diet has served up a feeding frenzy of fanfare about the flavors and nutritional content of southern European and northern African cuisine. With its emphasis on olive oil, legumes, whole grains and vegetables, what once may have seemed a fad has become a cultural and culinary guidepost for flavorful, better-for-you fare.

Dubbed “the gold standard of diets” for its nutritional value and delicious flavor profiles, the Mediterranean diet has been identified by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as a sustainable food consumption model to follow.1 In addition, U.S. Nutrition Guidelines recommend it as a wellness-oriented eating regimen.1

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Topics: Millennials, Snacking, Trends

Plant-Based Snack Trend Sprouts Better-for-You Business

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Jun 12, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Rooted in the better-for-you foodservice trend, consumer appetite for plant-based products is continuing its growth spurt. Given the prevalence of a more mindful approach to food consumption, especially among wellness-oriented millennials, plants seem to have found ample fertile ground for market growth.

With 76% of U.S. adults surveyed in agreement that plant-based foods are healthy, many consumers find them an important asset that helps them maintain or improve their well-being, according to the market intelligence firm Mintel.1 Consumers surveyed find plant-based protein an advantage that helps them achieve wellness goals like weight management (31%).1

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Topics: Millennials, Restaurant Operations, Snacking, Trends

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