As the local sourcing and farm-to-table frenzy shows, consumers have fallen head over heels for fresh ingredients. “Freshness is a top snack attribute,”1 according to survey results from the research firm Technomic. In fact, 63% of consumers surveyed demand freshness first and foremost.2 Women in particular favor freshness (67%), compared to 59% of men.2
As their influence grows, chefs are not only cooking the dishes—they’re calling the shots. According to the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot2019 Culinary Forecast, chef-driven fast casual restaurant concepts rank among the year’s Top Ten Trends.1 And when the report drills down to the top restaurant concepts, chef-driven fast casuals are ranked highest.2
Burgers continue to beef up business—and not just the plant-based varieties that are sprouting up in major chains like McDonald’s and Burger King and making sales sizzle in the frozen food sections of supermarkets.
At a time when a shift away from staples toward ever-greater variety seems to have become the norm, chicken rules the roost when it comes to consumers’ favorite protein, according to survey results from market research firm Datassential.1
As if increasingly tight margins weren’t hard enough to swallow, now new players on the already crowded foodservice field are competing for share of stomach.