Kelly Weikel

As Director of Consumer Insights, Kelly specializes in using her background in psychology to understand the “why” behind consumer decisions. Her focus is on uncovering the underlying consumer needstates and motivations that shape foodservice behaviors and providing insights on consumer attitudes and usage across foodservice products, amenities and brands. Since joining the firm in 2007, Kelly has played a key role in developing Technomic’s Consumer Trend Reports and Access platform and manages the series of more than 20 annual studies that keep U.S. and Canadian foodservice professionals up to date on evolving trends in food and beverage categories, restaurant sectors, dining occasions, consumer segments and more.

Foodservice Flavor Lifecycle Accelerates as Ingredient Variety Explodes

Technomic Inc.’s study explores innovation resulting from consumers’ proliferating demand for new, unique tastes Forty percent of consumers say they are more willing to visit a restaurant that offers new and/or innovative flavors, according to the new Technomic 2015 Flavor Consumer Trend Report. Though classic flavors still appeal, consumers are increasingly driven to experiment with […]

Innovative Desserts Can Boost Check Averages and Drive Off-Peak Traffic

Restaurants can seize opportunity to indulge diners’ appetites for new flavors at meal’s end Consumers love dessert: 63% indulge at least once a week. While most customers tend to favor standard sweets like cookies, cakes and pies, many seek to finish their restaurant meals with something new, according to Technomic’s Dessert Consumer Trend Report. The […]

Small Plates Will Continue to Rise in Popularity, Replacing Traditional Mealparts

Evolving foodservice usage and behavior drives left side of menu opportunities, Technomic Inc. study finds. Though some foodservice consumers still view the left side of the menu (LSM)—particularly starters, small plates and sides—as “extras,” the LSM is uniquely positioned to serve consumers’ shifting dining needs. According to Technomic’s Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend […]

Competition Escalates as Quick-Service Restaurants Fight to Steal Share from Bakery and Coffee Cafés

Though bakery and coffee cafés face fierce competition from quick-service restaurants aiming to steal share, Technomic’s Canadian Bakery & Coffee Café Consumer Trend Report reveals that cafés will continue to thrive as they meet consumers’ demands for affordability and convenience while still providing quality. To stay ahead of the competition, these cafés are enhancing beverage […]

Pay Attention to Gen Z

In the past few years, I’ve been asked about one consumer group more than any other: Millennials. How can we engage them, how can we influence them, how can we gain their loyalty? More recently, questions have shifted toward a greater emphasis on what is still the largest and most financially comfortable generation, Baby Boomers. […]

Leveraging the Left Side of the Menu

We’re seeing a lot of movement from the Left to the Right, but it’s not in the political sphere—it’s on the menu. And it’s pushed by consumers’ shifting eating and dining behavior. Today’s consumers no longer structure their daily consumption around three square meals, but increasingly graze and snack throughout the day. They use restaurants […]

Restaurant Burgers: Thinking Outside the Bun

Consumers increasingly demand “more” from their restaurant visits; both in terms of what’s on the menu and the overall experience. Our recent Burger Consumer Trend Report found that the burger category is no exception. Fueled by the growth of the ‘better burger’ category and consumers’ shifting expectations toward variety, health and customization, a standard ground […]

How to Earn an “A” With College and University Students

If there is one thing the foodservice industry needs to know about college and university students it’s this: they are a demanding, yet shifty, bunch. They have high foodservice expectations and a lot of choices available to meet their needs. They use foodservice for many different occasions and their preferences can vary widely from one […]

Hitting a High Note with Hispanic Foodservice Consumers

As America’s largest minority group, Hispanic consumers currently comprise 17 percent of the total U.S. population, a proportion that is expected to increase to 31 percent by 2060. In addition, they wield strong influence in the foodservice sector. Their impact is apparent in the fact that Hispanic-inspired cuisines (most notably, Mexican fare) continue to be […]

Family-Style Restaurants: Thinking Beyond Families

In 2008, Denny’s pioneered an aggressive push into the late-night category with their “Rockstar” menu. Presumably, their goal was to expand their reach in terms of both occasions and demographics – to build sales during non-peak meal times and boost traffic among younger consumers. It’s a solid strategy supported by data from our recent Future […]