We’ve helped many of today’s leading QSR, Restaurant and Foodservice companies focus on a range of customer needs. Even though our studies are completed online, we include a range of projective and in-store exercises to gain understanding.
Are Millennials behind the demise of fast food as we know it? Or to borrow from Mark Twain, are the reports of McDonald’s death greatly exaggerated? If you’ve been reading the financial news, McDonald’s seems to be in trouble – the theories abound as to why. Some point an accusatory finger at Millennials.
We have already written about the challenges of consumer product companies and fast casual establishments in capturing the taste buds of the coveted consumer group born between 1981-2000: Millennials. Their habits and preferences are shaking things up across multiple categories. Gen Y seems to increasingly favour companies like Chipotle and Panera, as well as Shake Shack and Five Guys. What’s notable is that all of these are part of the “fast casual” dining trend.
So what’s the link between Millennials and this trend? We recently conducted a study of Millennials and their attitudes about nutrition, and we are presenting at the Food & Drink Innovation Network conference in London. Our study finds that taste, quality and experience matter tremendously to the Gen Y consumer – all hallmarks of the “fast casual”.
To Millennials, overall nutrition is important, and they want fast food to be healthier and better quality. While they are active and conscientious grocery shoppers, they do allot a significant portion of their budget to eating out. That means there’s significant opportunity for restaurant marketers to capture share of wallet.
To receive an executive brief of our Millennials & Nutrition findings, click here. And watch this space for the webinar on the subject in March.
Food, Friends, Fun: Courting the Millennial Diner
Have you heard? Endless Appetizers are better and back at TGIFridays. Not on your radar? Maybe because chances are you aren't part of the most coveted consumer group today, Millennials.
The casual dining chain is just the latest using behavioral lures to fill seats with GenY spenders. Endless Apps were a very successful gimmick last year, especially with Millennial diners. This time around, the chain is removing limits on choices – a rule that Millennials found unappealing.
TGIFridays strategy aligns with our recent findings around Millennials and food. Our study shows that food Gen Yers are particularly interested in experimenting with food, creating experiences around dining, and sharing the occasion with others. By allowing Millennials to customize their meal with friends around small plates is a home run for the chain.
Is your food, beverage or dining brand clicking with Millennials? Hear the latest insights that could help your positioning and product development efforts in our upcoming webinar, Understanding How Millennials View Food & Nutrition. We’ll be covering behavior, emotions, influences, and more. Click to register for Tuesday, March 10th or Wednesday, March 11th.
Gluten-Free Trend: Fading Fast or Built to Last?
In our sneak peek back in February, we asked: is going against the grain an enduring health trend, or will another development in health and nutrition soon take its place? According to our study this food fad is here to stay. And a trip through the grocery store confirms that it’s not going to slow down any time soon.
Since the FDA released their official definition for gluten-free back in August, the gluten free category has grown exponentially – taking up more and more shelf space in grocery stores, and recently expanding into the restaurant industry. In fact, both Chick-fil-A and Olive Garden recently announced they have changed up their recipes in hopes of catering to the growing ranks of grain-free diners. And supply chain cooperative, SpenDifference recently released findings from their Chain Restaurant Menu Price Tracking Survey that found 55% of the chains surveyed said they currently serve gluten-free food, with 52% planning to add to their gluten-free menu and 7% planning to start.*
Who are these gluten-free consumers and what makes them tick? To learn more, we recently conducted our own gluten-free study that included 100 gluten-free purchasers to find out the why, what, and where behind these consumers. According to our findings, restaurants that are extending their menus to include gluten-free food and beverage options – such as Starbucks, Panera, and Applebee’s – are moving in the right direction, as 8 in 10 agree that eating gluten-free is harder when eating out, yet only 1/3 of these gluten-free purchasers know of a restaurant, bakery, and/or café that offers gluten-free items. To see what else we found, take a look at our gluten-free infographic below.
Have an idea for a BuzzPoll? Let us know! Or for more information about our Gluten-Free BuzzPoll, click here.
* SpenDifference, Chain Restaurant Menu Price Tracking Survey, January 2014, pgs. 2,5