Submit comment or question
Note: All comments are displayed with user's screen name. If screen name is not present, user's full name will be used. Please go to My Account to update your screen name.
Comment Policy: Urner Barry has made the comment feature available to encourage further discussion of our news stories. Defamatory or offensive comments, or comments deemed not relevant to the story will be removed, and if necessary, Urner Barry may restrict the right of individual subscribers to offer comments. In all cases, comments represent opinions of the poster only, and do not represent fact, news, opinions or estimates put forward by Urner Barry.
Email Address is required.
Password is required.
Technomic: Brands Must Differentiate to Stay Ahead as Competition for Breakfast Heats Up
As more players fight for share, breakfast wars are intensifying. Technomic’s 2019 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report takes a look at what brands can do to stay ahead of competition, such as adapting to off-premise trends by way of enhancing ordering amenities, updating menus with bold flavor innovation and adding healthier options. Convenience should also be a big focus, including for weekend occasions.
“Moving forward, brands must differentiate themselves from competitors to drive customer loyalty,” explains Anne Mills, senior manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Adapting off-premise capabilities and creating innovative menus to meet consumers’ increasing needs for...
Technomic’s Take: 2020 Canada Trends
Chillier weather and holidays on the horizon signify a special time for Technomic: the coming year’s foodservice trend predictions. Our 2020 trends—which touch on menu, operations and labour—reflect today’s biggest cultural, governmental and consumer shifts impacting macro industry trends. Operators and suppliers need to understand how and why macro trends such as health, sustainability, technology and employee engagement are changing in order to succeed in today’s highly competitive foodservice arena. Read ahead for Technomic’s expert predictions of the trends that will have the greatest impressions on foodservice in 2020.
Operators will shine a light on aquatic-based ingredients in a plethora of new ways. Not only will restaurants continue to highlight less familiar seaweeds, algae and sea plants, including...
Technomic: Off-Premise Occasions Impact Consumers Desire to Try New Flavors
While consumer demand for flavor innovation is high, Technomic’s 2019 Flavor Consumer Trend Report reveals that consumers’ willingness to try new flavors varies by dining occasion. Consumers are less likely to experiment with flavors when ordering delivery rather than dine-in or takeout. Opportunity exists in offering foods exclusive to specific order formats, such as dine-in or delivery-only menus or free delivery promotions for specific menu items.
“Consumers are already hesitant to pay for something they might not like when trying new dishes, and the added cost of delivery simply exacerbates this concern,” explains Charles Winship, manager at Technomic. “Operators may consider bringing more familiar ingredients and...
Technomic’s Take: 7 Hot Trends to Watch for 2020
That’s the central theme that emerged as we at Technomic considered the patterns, hurdles and opportunities that are poised to affect the restaurant and foodservice industry as we head into 2020.
While some noteworthy trends were expected and others have turned out to be a bit more surprising, common threads of connection among these trends were revealed during our research.
Ever-shifting demands for health and flavor innovation are guiding menus toward new sustainably grown and sourced ingredients, which connects to an elevated prioritization around waste reduction—both on the menu and in back of the house. But this heightened sense of...
Technomic: Operators Must Showcase Value and Innovation to Gain Share of Pasta and Noodle Occasions
Consumption of pasta and noodle dishes in Canada is high but skews significantly toward at-home occasions, according to Technomic’s new 2019 Canadian Pasta Consumer Trend Report. In order to drive sales, operators should offer a unique draw for consumers that they won’t be able to find elsewhere.
“Operators need to convey that their pasta and noodle dishes are worth the price of dining out and offer a meal that simply can’t be replicated at home,” explains Charles Winship, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Authentic preparations, high-quality ingredients and innovative flavour profiles can all help elevate dishes, improving value perceptions.”
Key takeaways from the report include...
Technomic: Small Plates, Starters, and Sides Positioned to Gain Popularity
With consumers’ desire for innovation increasing and snacking becoming more of a habit, mealparts such as starters, small plates and sides are well-positioned to gain share of stomach. Technomic’s 2019 Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report explores how these mealparts can help foodservice brands maximize existing opportunities and overcome potential challenges.
“Starters, small plates and sides are flexible menu offerings that provide the innovation consumers seek at a lower risk than larger menu items,” explains Anne Mills, senior manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “While the lower price points and smaller portions mean these mealparts are great platforms for experimentation, rising menu prices increase the risk. As prices rise, brands must work to maintain, if not boost, value perceptions through bolder innovation and...
Technomic: Beverage Category Ripe with Opportunity
Beverages have always played a significant role in foodservice and the category is continuously evolving. Technomic’s recently released Away-from-Home Beverage Study covers how consumer demands and business conditions have shifted within the past few years.
“Beverage growth has outpaced that of foodservice within the past few years thanks to innovative options such as nitro coffee, plant-based milks and other alternative beverages entering this space,” explains David Henkes, principal at Technomic. “Although challenges like third-party delivery are encroaching on beverage occasions, the category has a lot of opportunities available through offering a wide variety of innovative beverage options to their guests.”
Innovation is Bringing New Excitement to the Burger Category in Canada
More Canadians today than a year ago say they’re ordering burgers from foodservice at least once a month, and the growth of the LSR burger category is outpacing the industry. In the 2019 Canadian Burger Consumer Trend Report, Technomic dives into the factors at play, including innovations such as plant-based burgers and unique flavour profiles.
“The bigger the burger category gets, the more important it is that operators maintain points of differentiation,” explains Charles Winship, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Responding to demands for plant-based options as well as spicier, bolder flavours will be critical as brands look to offer burgers that truly stand out.”
Technomic: Shifting Definitions of Value Increasingly Include Food Quality and Service
Value remains a vital component in the path to purchase, with 76% of consumers saying it’s a very important factor when deciding where to dine. Technomic’s 2019 Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report also reveals that roughly one-quarter of consumers say their definition of value has changed over the past two years, with food quality and service, in particular, playing an increasing role in the value proposition.
“As definitions of value continue to evolve, operators will need to renew their focus on meeting, if not exceeding, expectations across all aspects of the value equation—food quality, price, service and atmosphere,” explains Bret Yonke, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Moving forward, look for high-traffic, high-volume segments like fast food to further experiment with subscription models, such as...
Technomic: Burgers Risk Losing Affordable Reputation
Burgers are often thought of as being more affordable than other menu items, but as prices continue to rise at a faster rate than the average entree, this view may start shifting. Notably, these price increases are true across a variety of burger types, including bacon cheeseburgers, veggie burgers and specialty burgers. Technomic’s 2019 Burger Consumer Trend Report examines the factors at play.
“Price increases are offering operators a form of relief as they struggle with rising labor and delivery costs, as well as limited growth through traffic,” explains Charles Winship, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “But continued price increases for burgers could ultimately cut into perceptions around their affordability and push consumers toward other options.”
Competition Heats Up in Canada as Emerging Channels Enter the Playing Field
Emerging channels in Canada are delivering a new wave of competition for traditional foodservice operators. Technomic’s 2019 Canadian Emerging Channels Consumer Trend Report explores these new players, covering everything from food halls to meal kits. While usage of these channels is currently low overall, there is strong appeal among younger consumers. This, along with future expansion plans, means that emerging channels are poised to steal share from restaurants moving forward.
“For younger consumers, a wider variety of need states compared to older consumers and a greater willingness to experiment and try new things leads to greater usage of emerging channels,” explains Bret Yonke, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Moving forward, the broad nature of these channels means competition on multiple fronts. Food halls and food trucks will be the greatest threat for lunch occasions, while eatertainment and meal kits will...
Technomic: Students’ Foodservice Demands Grow Both On and Off Campus
Delivery, technology and health trends are changing the foodservice landscape and younger generations are leading this charge. Technomic’s 2019 College & University Consumer Trend Report explores this segment in depth, providing actionable recommendations for operators and suppliers to get ahead of the challenges and competition.
“Students have high expectations from their foodservice experiences both on and off campus. Delivery, convenience and menu innovation are all top priorities for college and university students,” explains Anne Mills, senior manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “On top of this, they will choose companies that support causes they care about such as...
Technomic: Canadians’ Routines and Habits Present Challenges for Emerging Bakery and Coffee Cafes
In the 2019 Canadian Bakery & Coffee Cafe Consumer Trend Report, Technomic found that many coffee cafe customers stick to the same restaurant brand and, oftentimes, the same cafe location, due to their coffee preferences and demands for convenience. On the other hand, bakery-cafe customers are open to mixing up the brands they visit, challenging these operators to build up loyal customer bases.
“For emerging coffee cafes, the challenge is in getting consumers to break from their routines and try something new,” explains Charles Winship, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “While specials and limited-time offers can help draw in new visitors, whether these guests habitually return will ultimately come down to value, convenience and, in many cases, coffee.”
Technomic: Restaurants Brace for Increased Competition as Emerging Channels Continue to Expand
While usage of emerging channels is still low overall compared to traditional foodservice segments, strong appeal among younger consumers and continued nationwide expansion by these channels means increased competition for restaurants moving forward. Technomic's 2019 Emerging Channels Consumer Trend Report explores primary and secondary emerging channels, and covers the unique challenges and opportunities that each channel faces.
"Restaurant operators will have to pick and choose how to compete as variety and uniqueness are currently competitive advantages for emerging channels...
Technomic: Shifting Consumption Impacts Menu Offerings in Canada
While red meat continues to maintain strong interest among consumers, growing concerns for health and sustainability are having an increasing impact on these staples in Canada, Technomic reveals in the 2019 Canadian Centre of the Plate Consumer Trend Report. The growing popularity of alternative proteins will increasingly encroach on beef and pork’s share of the plate.
“We are seeing a rise in vegetarian or vegan dishes which have primarily impacted beef and pork consumption. But the impact will broaden going forward as plant-based substitutes emerge for other categories,” explains Anne Mills, senior manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Consumers are far more likely to ...
Technomic's Take: Five Ways Legal Marijuana Impacts Restaurants
Recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states, with as many as 12 more expected to approve in the next 18 months. Pressure from changing social norms, product marketers and the mind-boggling tax revenue potential is likely to prompt the federal government to change marijuana’s classification by 2023 at the latest, opening the door for a cannabis boom.
Current recreational use regulations largely prohibit marijuana and cannabis consumption in public spaces, including away-from-home establishments, particularly those where ...
Technomic: Growing Chains Keep Chicken in the Spotlight while Turkey Struggles with Momentum
Technomic's 2019 Center of the Plate: Poultry Consumer Trend Report shows that innovation is necessary for turkey dishes to be at the forefront of consumers' minds year-round. Craveable preparations, particularly outside the holiday season, could encourage more diners to consider turkey dishes, according to the report. Meanwhile, chicken remains a staple of the American diet, and consumers' love for the protein shows no signs of slowing.
"At a time when growth is hard to come by, the limited-service chicken category is performing exceptionally well," explains Charles Winship, senior research analyst at Technomic. "The category's growth has ramifications across ...
Canadian Retailers are Set to Compete with a Wider Array of Restaurants Via Prepared Food Offerings
Retailer meal solutions are transforming the foodservice landscape, Technomic reveals in the 2019 Canadian Retailer Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report. With increasingly upscale offerings and even in-store restaurants offered by some, lines continue to blur between retailers and restaurants as competition heats up for both limited-service and full-service operators.
“For retailers, on-demand offerings such as the ability to order prepared foods online for pickup or delivery will be key to keeping pace with the restaurant industry as consumers increasingly expect these offerings from foodservice in general,” explains Bret Yonke, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Retailers will also need to strike a balance between offering affordable grab-and-go options and increasing efforts to become ...
Technomic Reports that Foodservice Achieved Strong Sales Growth in 2018
According to Technomic's 2019 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Advance Report, restaurant chains achieved stronger sales growth in 2018 than what was observed the prior year. This growth comes despite diminishing consumer foot traffic, labor challenges, and volatile operating conditions. For 2018, cumulative sales for the top 500 chains grew to $318 billion. Meanwhile, sales growth for casual dining rebounded to 1.3% in 2018, after dipping to 0.3% in 2017. Fast casual remains to be the fastest growing segment, increasing its sales 7.3% for the year. While sales have seen increased growth, new locations growth fell to a rate of 0.7% in 2018.
Also, total U.S. sales for the top quick service food chains is above $10 billion, whereas last year ...
Technomic Reports Consumption of Meatless Dishes Remains Strong
More consumers now than in 2016 say they are following restrictive specialty diets, Technomic discovered in the 2019 Center of the Plate: Seafood and Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report. While a significant majority of consumers do not follow a specialty diet, those who do are most likely to classify themselves with flexible terms such as “semivegetarian” or “flexitarian.”
“This desire for flexibility highlights the fact that dietary lifestyle choices are often not all-or-nothing decisions for consumers,” explains Bret Yonke, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Semivegetarian and flexitarian diets appeal to those who aspire to eat healthier while still providing leeway to splurge on meat or seafood occasionally. To cater to shifting behaviors, operators can offer protein substitutes for certain dishes or create a handful of build-your-own options that give consumers an even greater level of control.” Key takeaways from the report include ...
Technomic Finds Sustainability Concerns and Alternative Proteins Shift Dynamic for Beef and Pork
Beef and pork have long been staples of Americans’ plates but with growing sustainability and health concerns, shifts are taking place in this category. Technomic’s 2019 Center of the Plate: Beef and Pork Consumer Trend Report explores how the rise of popularity in alternative proteins and the transparency of animal treatment are affecting consumers’ preferences.
“While demand for beef and pork still remains strong, consumers report a slight decline in consumption of these proteins over the past two years due to the growth in health and sustainability concerns,” explains Anne Mills, senior manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Adjusting to consumers’ evolving approach to beef and pork consumption will be vital to growing sales. Focus should be placed on innovative and ...
Niche Brand Positionings can Help Canadian Restaurants Combat Traffic Challenges
Canadian consumers are visiting full-service restaurants slightly less frequently now than they were two years ago, Technomic reveals in the 2019 Canadian Future of FSR Consumer Trend Report. Likewise, sales growth for leading family-style and casual-dining chains is trailing the Top 200 chain average. To drive traffic and sales, FSR operators may want to look internally to pinpoint unique offerings and points of differentiation that will help them stand out from the competition.
“With fast casuals still growing quickly and newer channels like food halls and retail foodservice emerging, full-service operators are facing higher levels of competition ...
Technomic's Take: 4 Global Trends for 2019
In order to keep up in foodservice, it’s important to always be forward-thinking. What will be the next big trend? What flavors are on the rise? What’s the next packaging enemy after plastic straws? Technomic recently released the top seven flavor trends to keep an eye out for in 2019, but we decided to take our predictive abilities beyond that, looking at what’s in store for restaurants on a global level this year.
Consumers’ lifestyles across the world are becoming busier and their needs are more demanding. From functional menu items to eco-friendly packaging, let’s look at the broader view of foodservice trends. Explore four key trends we predict will be showcased within restaurant menus, service strategies and best practices in 2019 ...
Technomic: Increased Delivery Usage Shows Potential for Driving Incremental Occasions
Consumers who are relying more heavily on delivery than in the past report a net increase in the number of orders they are placing overall, according to the 2018 Takeout & Off-Premise Consumer Trend Report. For operators, this may ease concerns with regards to the potential cannibalization of dine-in or carryout occasions.
“Among those who have increased their usage of takeout since 2016, ease of use with regards to mobile apps and websites is increasingly cited as a driving force behind this,” says Bret Yonke, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Moving forward, look for third-party delivery companies to seek out greater brand loyalty from consumers by offering subscription-based packages that provide exclusive perks beyond simply waiving delivery fees.”
Additional key takeaways from the report include...
Rabobank: Global Beef Trade Into the 2020s
World Food Prices Jump in November
Women in Food and Agriculture Survey Results: Are Women Fairly Represented in the Industry?
Rabobank Beef Quarterly Q4 2019: Strong Demand to Test Supply in 2020
Consumer Confidence Index Declined Slightly in November
URNER BARRY INDICES