Race for Adventurous Consumers Tightens Between Flavor-Forward LSRs, FSRs

There is a real return on investment for any restaurant putting forth the effort to identify the next big ingredient or flavor—and it’s more than just street cred in food magazines and TV segments. Two in five consumers say they are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers new or innovative flavors. For a […]

On-Trend: Asian Small Plates and Snacks

Independent restaurant concepts are already well-known for offering gourmet small plates and snacks, which highlight the quality of their ingredients’ flavors in small, shareable portions. Now, the favorite small-plate flavors of the moment appear to be Asian-inspired. According to Technomic’s 2013 Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report, 39 percent of consumers say that […]

Fast-Casual Segment Performance 2013: Asian/Noodle Restaurants

Fast-casual Asian/noodle restaurants within Technomic’s Top 150 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurants posted impressive sales gains of 15.6 percent in 2012 on unit growth of 9.4 percent; that expansion was driven largely by the segment’s three biggest chains: Panda Express, Noodles & Company and Pei Wei Asian Diner. The dominance of the top three is tough to […]

Canadian Chains Find Inspiration in Asian Flavors

Anyone looking for a signal that Thai foods and flavors had reached the mainstream in Canada needed look no further than McDonald’s Canada’s introduction in February of the Spicy Thai McBistro Chicken Sandwich. Thai-inspired items, like a host of other foods showcasing Asian flavor influences, have reached new prominence on Canadian menus in 2013. The […]

Segment Performance: Fast Casual Asian/Noodle Chains

Asian/noodle chains within the Top 150 fast casual restaurants increased sales by 5.8 percent to $2.3 billion in 2011 over the prior year. Unit counts were up 4.6 percent. Panda Express remains the leader in the Asian/Noodle segment; the chain’s sales increased 6.8 percent to $1.5 billion during 2011. Pei Wei Asian Diner remained fairly […]

U.K. Sandwiches Take on Global Twists

When choosing a sandwich, most consumers will naturally gravitate toward traditional favourites with familiar builds and flavours. But those strong preferences are not stopping some operators from getting creative with sandwich preps. Today’s menu development for sandwiches increasingly calls for ethnic inspiration; thus, globally influenced sandwiches are emerging. Here, we offer a look at Asian-style […]