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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...

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Sep 13 9:10 AM, General News



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...

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Sep 12 8:31 AM, General News


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...

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Aug 27 8:15 AM, General News


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...

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Aug 15 8:15 AM, General News


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...

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Jul 18 8:14 AM, General News


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...

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Jun 28 8:22 AM, General News


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...

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Jun 14 7:52 AM, General News


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...

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May 30 8:22 AM, General News


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...

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May 16 8:22 AM, General News


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...

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May 1 2:11 PM, General News


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 ...

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Apr 23 10:22 AM, General News


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 ...

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Mar 20 11:16 AM, General News


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 ...

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Mar 13 12:44 PM, General News


Home Kitchens Get Smart, Creating New Retail Opportunities
 
The home kitchen industry has been steadily gaining IQ points in recent years. Manufacturers continually implement more software and use technology to innovate on previously stagnant concepts. In a recent report by the NPD Group, the research firm provided a number of insights on the home kitchen appliance industry that can also provide takeaways for food industry professionals.
 
One of the key points NPD makes is the importance of technology making consumer's lives easier. Here, integration is key. With the increasing adoption of smart speakers and other smart home options, having...
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Feb 27 9:31 AM, Urner Barry


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 ...

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Feb 6 10:40 AM, General News


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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Jan 24 11:33 AM, General News


An Increasing Number of Restaurant Meals Are Being Eaten At Home, Where U.S. Consumers Want to Be

U.S. consumers are staying home and eating more meals at home, and an increasing number of those meals eaten at home are purchased from restaurants and foodservice outlets, reports The NPD Group.

For a variety of reasons — streaming media, working from home, the need to find comfort and shelter from the maddening crowd, or practicing Hygge, the Danish art of coziness — U.S. consumers are staying home. Staying home also means eating more meals at home and an increasing number of those meals are purchased from restaurants and foodservice outlets. In the year ending September 2018 dining at a restaurant represented 37 percent of all visits and remained flat compared to last year and restaurant meals consumed in-home accounted for 32 percent of all traffic and increased visits by 2 percent, reports The NPD Group.

Proof that U.S. consumers are homebodies is that 71 percent of those who chose to eat at home were at home prior to eating the restaurant meal. Adult, single person parties with higher incomes of $100K or above are driving ...

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Dec 12 9:00 AM, General News


Chicken Fight: Are Chicken Strips Cannibalizing Chicken Nugget Servings At Foodservice?

Product innovation and new fast casual chicken concepts reinvent chicken strips

Not since the classic why did the chicken cross the road? question has there been such a puzzling chicken question as this: Are chicken strips cannibalizing chicken nugget servings at foodservice? Chicken strip servings at restaurants and foodservice outlets increased by 16 percent in the quarter ending September 2018 compared to same period last year whereas chicken nugget servings declined by 3 percent, reports The NPD Group. The logical answer is that fans of breaded chicken are swapping out nuggets for strips. The correct answer: No they’re not.

Chicken nuggets lost buyers but these buyers were not...

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Dec 6 10:17 AM, General News


Aging Consumers Slow Down U.S. Food & Beverage Consumption Making It A Battle for Market Share

While our economy is improving, the aging population and corresponding changes in life stage will contribute to the decline in total eating occasions on a per capita basis in the U.S., according to The NPD Group’s recently released Eating Patterns in America. Modest population growth will result in a less than one percent annual increase in total food and beverage demand, which isn’t significant enough to stop the decline in consumption occasions per capita.

The number of annual eating occasions per capita in the U.S. has been on a steady decline, reports NPD, which continually tracks all aspects of U.S. consumers’ eating attitudes and behaviors. U.S. consumers will average 1410 eating occasions per capita this year, or over 461 billion occasions for the total U.S. population, compared to 1453 occasions in 2009.

“Food and beverage consumption in the U.S. is perhaps the clearest definition of a ‘mature market,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “The balance between consumers eating in home or away from home has been... 

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Oct 15 9:12 AM, General News




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