Part I of a two-part series
Total restaurant sales are expected to hit $605 billion by 2020 — representing 21% growth from the 2015's $498 billion, according to market intelligence agency Mintel. What factors are creating such tailwinds? According to a recent CokeSolutions webinar on foodservice trends presented by Mintel, there are several things driving sales in 2016.
In this first part of a two-part series, we examine two of those: value-added messaging and on-demand dining.
Message Over Marketing
When it comes to the marketing of food and beverages, customers are no longer persuaded by language once considered tried and true, such as "crisp" or "fresh." Today's customers want value-added terminology that provides a deeper, more wellness-focused explanation of what's on the menu.
Specifically, they're interested in food origination (geographic information), the benefits of consumption (nutritional information) and how the food makes them feel (ethical information, such as calling out if the animals were grass fed).
Mintel says restaurants are communicating these messages on menus and websites. Value-added claims are also an important marketing/advertising strategy, and the ones that resonate with consumers are "natural," "hormone free," "organic," "farm raised," "cage free," "vegetarian," "antibiotic free" and "low sodium." The benefit of communicating true messaging and claims is the potential for increased traffic and sales.
"Customers are no longer persuaded by language once considered tried and true, such as "crisp" or "fresh." Today's customers want value-added terminology that provides a deeper, more wellness-focused explanation of what's on the menu."
Today's consumers want the ability to purchase fresh, restaurant-quality food from a variety of nontraditional places whenever the mood strikes. This expectation is evolving the foodservice industry. New competitors are entering the mix, attracting consumers with convenient, high-quality meal options. Think food trucks, mobile markets, high-end grocery stores and convenience stores.
Modern diners are also eschewing traditional mealtimes for opportunities such as breakfast-served-all-day — a move that has increased visit frequency and market penetration for one fast food icon, Mintel reports.
The research firm reports that 61% of consumers have purchased prepared foods from a retail outlet in the last month — a nearly 15% increase since 2014. Consumers purchased pre-packaged foods and beverages from convenience stores to the tune of approximately $22.6 billion in 2015, according to Mintel. In fact, one large C-store chain forecasts 20% of store sales will come from fresh foods by the end of 2016. By comparison, C-stores currently report on average 15%-16% percent of sales in this category.
When it comes to food delivery, Mintel found that 77% of consumers say they would use an online food delivery service to purchase a meal, demonstrating the popularity of on-demand dining. Fifty-three percent of parents with children under the age of 18 said they would be willing to pay more for faster delivery times, highlighting the importance of convenience and accessibility. Fostering the growth of the anywhere-anytime trends is the growing popularity of "automated" restaurants, where customers order at a kiosk and pick up their items at cubbies.
Finally, we can expect to see growth in online and mobile grocery retailers.
The takeaway here is that with the demand for fresh food on the rise and changing consumer eating patterns, foodservice owners and operators can benefit from taking time to review the shifts in today's marketplace.
To learn more about consumer sentiment and other topics, sign up to for the monthly Refreshing Insights by Coca-Cola. To find out more about how Coca-Cola can be your partner in addressing foodservice trends, contact your local representative.