Foodservice operators are busy sorting through a mixed bag of opportunities and challenges as states reopen and dining rooms resume service. But while there’s been a feeding frenzy of attention focused on the commercial sector, noncommercial dining is also undergoing a transformation.
Snacking trends may evolve, but America’s appetite for snacks continues to feed the bottom line in a big way. The pandemic hasn't slowed our penchant for snacking, though it has changed what we consume—and when, where and how we do it.
As the consumer appetite for better-for-you and functional foodservice continues to grow during the coronavirus crisis, wellness-driven meal delivery can be expected to make more inroads into the market. Jumping on the better-for-you bandwagon seems an essential ingredient in any recipe for off-premises business success.
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
As the grab-and-go foodservice trend continues to take hold of busy millennials, the definition of snacking seems to shift further from between-meal treat to convenient meal replacement. Recent survey results show that 92% of millennials eat snacks as meals at least once a week, 50% four times a week and 26% a minimum of seven times a week.1
With close to 40% of millennial survey participants saying a sit-down meal is too time-consuming and 17% “can’t be bothered to cook a meal,” speed and convenience are key reasons for the snack-as-meal-substitute phenomenon.1 Snacks present a low-cost, smaller portioned food solution that fits their active lifestyles. Nearly half rank convenience as the most important factor in choosing a snack.2