As is the case in the tech world, “innovate or perish” also rings true in foodservice. Given the rapid changes in consumer lifestyles, preferences, and technology, foodservice operators must closely monitor menu trends, while also staying on brand.
Today’s menus are rooted in significant economic and behavior changes over the past decade. As workplace demands grew since the 2008 financial crisis, namely longer hours, consumers turned more often to take-out and grab-n-go meals. As consumers migrated to convenient foodservice venues, quick-serve menus and atmospheres began borrowing from full service.
Traditional daypart lines blurred. This change continues to impact not only the time of day consumers typically eat, but also portion sizes, packaging and menu items themselves. In a Technomic survey, 39% percent of consumers indicated they want breakfast options all day.
Breakfast anytime will be expected. Adding “dinner” ingredients to a breakfast item, like a spicy chicken biscuit, is becoming more common. Consumers are also snacking more and eating appetizers as meals. The left-side-of-menu items are expanding and being positioned as “sharables” to capture the communal aspect of dining.
In the future, snacking is expected to increasingly replace meals, driving up the need for healthier snack items and the positioning of smaller “taste” portions as snack offerings.
Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.