Let's Chat Snacks

Menu Innovation Elation: Elevating Menus Helps Lift Sales

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Sep 18, 2018 8:00:00 AM

It can seem a tall order for foodservice operators to thrive these days. Innovate or evaporate is a suitable mantra, given tight margins, rising labor costs and insistent consumer demand for speed, convenience and exciting new flavor experiences.

A prime example of the shifting foodservice landscape, the rise of subscription meal kits has delivered a blow to the bottom line, siphoning off $5 billion in market share1 and encouraging consumers to eat in and bypass takeout. And in-store meal kit sales from traditional retailers are surging too, jumping 26.5% last year to $154.6 million.2 Spending on meal kits is picking up speed at a rate 3x faster than other channels.2

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Topics: Technology, Millennials, Restaurant Operations, Snacking

On Course: Restaurant Operations Cook Up A Promising Future

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Sep 11, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Ups and downs may be par for the course for independent restaurants, but now they seem to be happening simultaneously.

According to the NPD Group, a leading provider of industry analysis and advisory services, independent restaurants are expected to spend about $39 billion with foodservice manufacturers and broadline distributors this year—even though unit count dropped 3% in fall 2017 versus a year earlier.1

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Topics: Technology, Millennials, Restaurant Operations, Snacking, Trends

Foodservice for Thought: Millennials Put Value and Values at Top of Menu

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Aug 28, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Millennials are serving foodservice operators a feast of opportunities. In tune with technology, with a hunger for eating out and takeout, they’re at the forefront of the food revolution, driving such foodservice trends as farm-to-table and fast casual, according to Forbes.1

The millennial feeding frenzy has reached fever pitch, helping to drive a generational shift that has sent the percentage of consumers who dine out soaring from 25.9% in 1970 to a 43.5% in 2017.1 The trend took hold as more women entered the workforce and busy lifestyles made eating out a convenient option, with a cost differential often perceived to be negligible compared to cooking at home.1

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Topics: Millennials, Restaurant Operations, 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

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

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

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

Meal Kits Offered in Stores Bite into Foodservice Market Share

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Jun 11, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Meal kits are elbowing their way to a place at the big-box table as major food retailers strive to satisfy the consumer’s hunger for convenient meal solutions.

As reported in our last post on the subject, it wasn't that long ago that meal kit sales broke the $1 billion mark. Now a $2.2 billion business with an expected annual growth rate of 25-30% over the next half-decade,1 meal kits continue to deliver big business for subscription services like Blue Apron and Plated. And, as Albertson’s $200 million purchase of Plated shows, more traditional segments of the food and beverage industry want in.

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Topics: Millennials, Restaurant Operations, Trends, Marketing

Millennial Snack Trends Take a Bite Out Of Mealtime Business

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on Jun 5, 2018 8:00:00 AM

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

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Topics: Desserts, Millennials, Restaurant Operations, Snacking

Big Data Gives Foodservice Operators Lots to Chew On

Let's Chat Snacks Posted on May 22, 2018 8:00:00 AM

In our app-happy age of head-spinning technological advancement, where more and more consumers have goods and services under their thumb—literally—thanks to their mobile devices, big data is a big deal.

According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of U.S. adults overall and 92% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 say they own a smartphone.1 What’s more, Pew survey data shows that upwards of half of 18- to 29-year-olds live in a household with three or more smartphones, and around half of all U.S. adults surveyed use their smartphones to make online purchases.1

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Topics: Millennials, Restaurant Operations, Snacking, Trends

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