Pumpkin spice, anyone? Yep, it’s that time of year again. Summer is winding down, the temperature is dropping, and a cornucopia of fall flavors are cropping up on menus and store shelves everywhere.
Every year foodservice operators hope consumers deliver an eagerly anticipated holiday gift: a surge in sales. This year, the market research firm Datassential is the bearer of glad tidings in its Foodbytes Holiday Issue, and there are positive signs that the industry will continue to ring up strong sales long after ringing in the new year.
While many operators are understandably wrapped up in supply chain and labor shortage challenges, the industry can still take comfort and joy in the nationwide rollout of vaccines and the rollback of restrictions. Virus variants may add to an air of uncertainty, but as Renee Lee Wege, senior publications manager at Datassential, put it: “As always, though, the industry has proven time and time again throughout the pandemic just how innovative and resilient it is, and there’s no doubt that’ll continue.”1
Foodservice operators who are hungry for sales can always count on cookies. In fact, the beloved baked goods staple raises so much dough at limited service restaurants, cookies are the segment’s most menued dessert item.
Consumers favor flavor when it comes to menu attributes—and that applies to both limited-service and full-service restaurants and across generations, according to survey data from the market research firm Technomic. Overall, consumers rank “appealing taste and flavor” the top traffic driver for LSRs (60%) and FSRs (64%).1
Nine in 10 adults now snack more often than before the COVID-19 pandemic1—and due to efforts to limit close contact to reduce the virus’ spread, prepackaged items have become a popular choice.
Foodservice provider Morrison Healthcare, which works with more than 800 hospitals and healthcare systems, has seen a notable uptick in prepackaged snack interest during the past 18 months—although Jeffrey Quasha, Morrison’s director of retail culinary innovation, says customers have actually been drawn to prepackaged options for several years.
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