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NPD Group: Holiday Cheer Spurred Transaction Gains for Quick Service Restaurants in December
Quick service restaurant (QSR) chains, which represent the bulk of industry transactions, had four consecutive weeks of transaction increases in the retail month of December (December 2 through January 5) and were the primary contributor to the total industry gains in the month, reports The NPD Group. Casual dining chains, on the other hand, began the month stable but saw transaction declines in the last three weeks of the month. Midscale/family dining chains, despite a drop in the last week, finished the month flat, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and...
NPD Group: Most U.S. Consumers Read the Nutrition Facts Label
Food companies with annual sales of at least $10 million began following the federal government’s updated nutrition facts labeling rules on January 1. Since the majority of consumers, nearly 90%, do read the labels, it’s an important information source for them, reports The NPD Group.
The top two items consumers look for on the labels are sugars and calories, both of which had an update with the new labeling rules. Fifty-seven percent of consumers who read nutrition facts labels look for sugars, and 45% of adults say they look at the nutrition facts label to find information on calories, according to NPD’s Health Aspirations and Behavioral Tracking Service. On the new label, calories are...
NPD Group: Thanksgiving Week is Synonymous with Food but Not with Restaurant Transactions
Restaurant transactions for Thanksgiving week, the week ending December 1, were down 7% compared to same week last year (Thanksgiving was a week earlier in 2018), reports The NPD Group. Restaurant transactions declined by 8% for both the casual dining and quick service restaurant segments during Thanksgiving week, according to CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 73 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains.
Midscale/family dining restaurants, which offer sit down breakfasts, pies, and other desserts, realized an 18% increase in transactions during Thanksgiving week compared to same period year ago. Restaurant transactions for...
NPD Group: Growth in Mobile Holiday Shopping Benefits Stores
Twenty-five percent of online shoppers plan to use a smartphone for holiday shopping, and they are more likely than those who use other devices to buy online and pick up in store (BOPUS), according to insights from the 2019 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey from The NPD Group. Smaller mobile screens have been taking on more of the shopping workload in recent years, growing from just 19% two years ago, and this can be a positive thing for physical retail doors.
“The consumer’s adoption of mobile shopping can lead them to the store, where most impulse spending takes place,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group. “This further demonstrates the importance of a seamless retail approach in keeping up with...
NPD Group Releases Report on Eating Patterns in America
A burger has held the crown as the top food ordered at U.S. restaurants for decades, but this year that burger may well be a plant-based burger, according to this year’s edition of The NPD Group’s Eating Patterns in America, which is an annual compilation of the company’s daily tracking of U.S. consumption behavior. U.S. consumers may appear to be creatures of habit in their eating patterns but the foods they eat today have a modern twist that is influenced by a host of factors like ethnicity, age/generational group, and health/social consciousness.
“For 34 years The NPD Group has been tracking eating patterns in America and from a topline view many of the same foods are being consumed today as they were...
Plant-Based Foods: Will They Stay or Will They Go?
The rapid growth of plant-based foods at retail and on restaurant menus has many in the food and foodservice industries questioning if the interest in plant-based food is a passing fad or a long-term trend. A new study by The NPD Group addresses this question and finds that the answer depends on the consumer and their reasons for consuming plant-based foods in the first place.
Millennials, born 1981-1996, are the top consumers of plant-based meat alternatives, finds the NPD study, The Future of Plant-based Snapshot. This generational group has adopted plant-based meat alternatives as a way to indulge sensibly while addressing their long-term health goals and animal treatment concerns. Gen Xers, born 1965-1980, are also a core consumer group of plant-based meat alternatives, and...
Post-Summer Back to the Grind Kept U.S. Restaurant Transactions Flat in September
The post-summer back to business and school as usual kept U.S. restaurant transactions flat in September compared to year ago, reports The NPD Group. The month started out with transactions up but flattened as the month went on, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 73 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains.
Transactions at quick service restaurant (QSR) chains, which represent the bulk of industry transactions, were flat in September compared to year ago. While the full service segments of casual dining and...
NPD Group: Consumers Consider the Environment when Making Food and Beverage Decisions
Sustainability, which by definition is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance, is a much talked about topic today and is used in a broader sense to mean environmental consciousness or earth-friendly. In the food and beverage and foodservice sectors, many grocers, food manufacturers, and restaurant operators are initiating sustainability efforts as socially responsible corporate citizens and to support consumer interests. Nine percent of adults consider the environment as a top factor when making food and beverage purchase decisions, and it’s young adults, ages 18-44 years old, who are most likely to feel this way, finds The NPD Group.
When making food and beverage purchase decisions based on the environment, packaging is most visible to consumers. One in ten U.S. adults, or roughly 20 million consumers, said that they have switched to a different food or beverage brand because...
NPD Group: U.S. Restaurant Cash Registers Rang More in August
Amidst a chicken sandwich war, taking advantage of the last remaining days of summer vacation, and the want of having someone else do the cooking, consumers made more purchases at U.S. restaurants in August than they did the year before, reports The NPD Group. Quick service restaurants (QSRs) were the primary beneficiaries of this consumer demand with same-store dollars up by 4.4 percent.
Restaurant transactions were positive for QSR chains throughout the month of August, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 73 quick service, fast casual, midscale chains, and casual dining chains. The full service segment of casual and midscale/family chains continued to be soft compared to...
Total U.S. Restaurant Visits in July Held Steady While Consumer Spending Increases
U.S. consumers visited restaurants this July at the same pace they did last July and consumer spending was up three percent compared to year ago, reports The NPD Group. Total U.S. traffic volume for commercial restaurants in the year ending June was 61 billion visits.
Industry bright spots this summer include quick service restaurant traffic gains and continued visit growth to fast casual restaurants, although increases are not as strong as in previous years, according to NPD’s ongoing foodservice market research. Digital orders, which include internet/mobile app and text message orders for carry out and delivery, are growing rapidly but still represent a small amount of traffic share. On premise dining is also realizing visit gains this summer.
NPD’s SalesTrack® Weekly, which is a national weekly same-store sales pulse of 60 participating brands representing over 113,000 QSR and full service locations, showed...
U.S. Consumers’ Desire to Use Food as Medicine is Evidenced by Emerging Superfoods
While it is commonly understood that good nutrition promotes general health, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how their food and beverage choices can help them manage and, in some cases, reverse certain medical conditions, according to health and wellness research by The NPD Group. NPD finds that about a quarter of U.S. adults are trying to manage a health or medical condition by making healthy food and beverage choices.
Younger adults, ages 18-24, are particularly interested in using foods to improve their health. Last year young adults chose foods and beverages with healthy profiles for 19 percent of their meals and in-between snacks. For example, nine percent of adults say a top nutrition goal is protecting brain health and when asked about foods that promote brain health, young adults were 45 percent more likely to...
Quick Service Burger Buyers Mix it Up Between Plant-Based and Beef
Plant-based burgers are increasingly finding their way on to quick service restaurants (QSRs) menu boards and customers are responding. There were 228 million servings of plant-based burgers ordered at QSRs in the year ending May, up 10 percent from a year ago, reports The NPD Group. With all of the buzz surrounding the popularity of plant-based burgers some are wondering if veggie burgers are closing in on beef burgers or if the growth of plant-based burgers corresponds to an increase in vegetarianism or veganism. Here are some answers.
Beef burgers are still by far the most popular burger ordered at QSRs. There were 6.4 billion beef burgers ordered at QSRs in the year ending May 2019, and although growth is flat compared to year ago, beef burgers are still...
As Grocery Wars Heat Up, A Growing Number of Consumers Enlist in Ordering Groceries Online
The leading grocery retailers have been playing a game of one-upmanship when it comes to raising the bar on online ordering convenience. From offering grocery delivery to-your-door to same-day delivery through a variety of service modes, like drive-up pick-up, grocers are making shopping easier and an increasing number of consumers are responding. The percentage of U.S. consumers, ages 18 and above, who shopped online for groceries within a 30-day period, whether for delivery or pick-up in store, increased from 17 percent in the quarter ending November 2018 to 20 percent, or about 51 million consumers, in the quarter ending February 2019, reports The NPD Group.
Of those who shop online for groceries from brick and mortar or pure-play online grocers, 16 percent order their food and beverages for delivery. The option to order online and pick-up in store, also known as...
While Restaurant Delivery gets All the Buzz, Digital Orders Overall Grow by Double-Digits
The growing access to foodservice delivery has garnered lots of attention from the marketplace and media, but while delivery grabs the spotlight, digital restaurant orders overall steadily grow by double-digits, reports The NPD Group. Restaurant digital orders, which are defined by meals or snacks ordered via mobile app, internet, or text message, have grown by 23 percent over the past four years and now represent 3.1 billion visits and $26.8 billion dollars. NPD forecasts digital orders to continue to grow by double-digits through 2020 with growth across all service modes including delivery, on premises, and carryout, according to NPD’s Delivering Digital Convenience report.
Although convenience is understandably the top reason consumers choose digital ordering, other top reasons include: no waiting; the ability to order, pay, and have it ready; ordering at my “own” pace; and earning rewards/feeling valued. In addition to these reasons...
Indulgent Snack Food is Making a Comeback by Walking the Line Between Health and Enjoyment
U.S. consumers are giving themselves permission to enjoy indulgent snacks, reports The NPD Group. Their permission to enjoy savory and sweet snacks is the result of the wellness-driven acknowledgement that balance is the key. Brands are supporting their consumers’ quest for balance by offering snacks that walk the line between health and indulgence, like portion-control packs, thinner versions, or nutrient-enhanced savory and sweet snacks, finds NPD’s recently released Future of Snacking report.
“The role of snack food is changing in different ways in reaction to Americans’ desire for balance, portable snack foods, and holistic wellness,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “It’s no longer about depriving yourself of...
Which Rules the Roost When it Comes to Restaurant Orders: Burgers or Chicken Sandwiches?
Burgers have been a top item ordered at U.S. restaurants for decades but chicken sandwiches have come on strong over the last several years. There are more chicken sandwich restaurant concepts and chicken sandwiches are appearing on more menus. So have burgers been knocked off their perch by chicken sandwiches? “No,” says The NPD Group, which daily tracks U.S. consumers use of restaurants and other foodservice outlets. Burgers still rule the roost and are the top sandwich ordered overall.
By the numbers, the average number of times a customer purchased a burger at a restaurant over the 12-month period ending February 2019 was 14.7 times and the customer purchase frequency of chicken sandwiches was 8.7, according to NPD’s receipt harvesting service, Checkout, which tracks...
U.S. Consumers Return to the Convenience of Frozen Foods
After years of being in the shadows of the health-focused “fresh” movement that kept more consumers in the perimeter of the store where fresh produce is merchandized, consumers are returning to the frozen foods aisle, reports The NPD Group. Last year frozen foods were included in 9.8 billion eating occasions in home, up 2 percent from a decade ago, an increase that represents billions of meals, according to NPD’s daily tracking of U.S. consumers’ eating behaviors.
“Demographic shifts, like Millennials moving into the busiest times of their lives juggling spouses, kids, and a career, are fueling a greater need for the convenience that frozen foods offer,” says David Portalatin, NPD Food Industry Advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “Manufacturers are also doing their part in...
U.S. Fast Casual Restaurant Chains Still Growing in Units and Customer Visits
Fast casual restaurant chains have been growing both in units and customer visits for the last decade, finds The NPD Group. The number of fast casual chain restaurants rose by 1 percent to 25,312 total units, based on NPD’s Fall 2018 ReCount® restaurant census, which includes restaurants open as of September 30, 2018. In the year ending February 2019 compared to year ago, fast casual customers increased their visits by 3 percent while the total quick service restaurant category, under which the fast casual category falls, were up 1 percent and total U.S. foodservice traffic remained flat, according to NPD’s ongoing foodservice market research.
The top five city metro areas with the most fast casual chain units based on the Fall 2018 ReCount are in rank order ...
Millennials with Kids Are a Growth Group for U.S. Restaurants
Millennial parents, just like parents from the generations that preceded them, are increasingly looking to restaurants to take on the task of cooking for their families. Millennials with children increased their restaurant visits by 5 percent in 2018 compared to prior year, reports The NPD Group. Their visit increase is in comparison to flat traffic growth for the total foodservice industry in 2018, according to NPD, which tracks on a daily basis U.S. consumers’ use of restaurants and other foodservice outlets.
Millennials overall make the most restaurant visits per capita although their visits have been slowing. As teens and young adults they influenced the growth of the fast casual category, the “fresh” movement, and were early adopters of the hottest sauces and an assortment of ethnic flavors. Now as parents with hectic lives they’re turning to restaurants for ...
NPD Group: Millions of US Adults have Yet to Use a Meal Kit but are Interested in Giving Them a Try
The meal kit market is quickly evolving from nearly exclusively online and subscription-based, home delivery services to on-demand availability in-store and online. Consumers are trying out the different ways to purchase meal kits, with over a quarter of recent users purchasing kits both in-store, including restaurants, and online, finds The NPD Group. While meal kit marketers and meal kit users are experimenting to find the right fit, there is a large group of consumers, 93 million, who have never tried a meal kit but are interested in giving them a try, which points to a market opportunity, according to NPD’s What’s Next for Meal Kits report.
“There is an untapped market for meal kits and it’s up to meal kit providers and retailers to find out ...
British Foodservice Industry Falls as Consumers Increasingly Prefer ‘Off-Premise’ Dining Options
Based on recent NPD research, after reaching its peak of 11.35 billion visits in 2017, we’re expecting the out-of-home or eat-out foodservice market will fall over the next two years in Britain. The pressures affecting on-premise eating and drinking is a big theme in British foodservice. The old habit of going shopping and finding a place to sit down is waning as more people shop online and opt for faster and more convenient ways of dining.
All of the meaningful growth in foodservice will be ‘off-premise’, which is where the industry will address the decline on the high street. The modest growth in the large takeaway and grab ‘n’ go channel, supported by the continuing delivery revolution, is enough to provide a significant majority of the growth in spend over the next two years for the entire British foodservice industry ...
U.S. Realizes Double-Digit Growth in Case Shipments of Plant-Based Proteins to Foodservice Operators
Case shipments of plant-based protein from broadline foodservice distributors to foodservice operators increased by 20 percent in the year ending November 2018 compared to year ago with all Census regions showing double-digit growth, reports The NPD Group. The West Census Region represents the most plant-based protein volume and case shipment growth followed closely by the South Census region, according to NPD’s SupplyTrack®.
About a quarter of the U.S. population, many of whom aren’t vegan or vegetarian, say that they eat and drink plant-based beverages and foods as well as animal protein on a regular basis. Among the reasons why plant-based proteins have ...
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