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 […]

What Fast Casual Gets Right About Burger Trends

The “better burger” segment was already on a roll, but economic factors have begun to exert even more pressure on cheeseburger-focused brands in ways that will favor fast casual over quick service. According to data in the 2015 Burger Consumer Trend Report, total burger consumption appears to have peaked and leveled off since 2013, likely […]

Fast Casuals Smooth Over Health Concerns with ‘Buff’ Items

Diet trends come and go—the South Beach and Atkins crazes of a decade ago have given way to today’s “paleo” and “primal” diets—but considerations about health and nutrition are a constant. Today, consumers want to maintain their health but still use restaurants to indulge. The latest round of menu development in fast casual reflects this […]

McDonald’s Biggest Opportunity: McMuffins All Day or Higher Pay?

McDonald’s recently woke up and smelled the coffee, but I don’t mean the much buzzed-about test of all-day breakfast to begin soon in San Diego. I’m talking about last week’s other big McDonald’s story: its decision to raise the hourly wage for crew members at its approximately 1,500 company-owned stores in the United States. It […]

Why Seafood is Poised to Break Out in Fast Casual

While only 6% of seafood entrées on menus in the United States occur at fast-casual restaurants, the segment is hardly swimming upstream when it comes to the potential for selling fresh fish or shellfish. In fact, as Technomic suggested in its recent “Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report,” fast-casual seafood may […]

5 Charts That Explain McDonald’s Move Toward Antibiotic-Free Chicken

A major portion of McDonald’s supply chain is getting the Chipotle Mexican Grill treatment, as the world’s largest burger chain will begin sourcing chicken only from poultry suppliers that don’t use human antibiotics on their animals. Leaders of the Golden Arches also announced McDonald’s would only sell milk from cows that have not been treated […]

Fast Casual’s Healthy Dose of Reinvention

Perceptions of better health have always weighed in fast-casual restaurants’ favor, which is probably why more brands are renewing their focus on healthfulness in the hopes of restarting or accelerating sales growth. R.J. Dourney, the chief executive and largest franchisee of Così Inc., said precisely that in a recent interview with Nation’s Restaurant News, calling […]

Consumer Trends Continue to Evolve in 2015

It’s difficult to anticipate the next shift in restaurant consumers’ preferences and need states, but operators can count on one expectation heading into 2015: Consumers will expect more from their brands, especially in the areas of technological amenities and food quality. Meeting those evolving demands will require restaurant leaders to invest heavily in their brands. […]

5 Foodservice Stats to Toast at the Close of 2014

As restaurants and retailers wait eagerly for December’s final sales numbers to roll in, let’s pause to enjoy five stats worth celebrating from 2014. Many Americans are feeling better about their finances! Forty-two percent of American consumers polled by Technomic and American Express in November this year said they are “living comfortably” or are “very […]