Future of Foodservice: Food and Beverage Menu Trends & Opportunities

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Published Oct 28, 2014 | 150 Pages | Pub ID: LA5362638
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Future of Foodservice: Food and Beverage Menu Trends & Opportunities

To grow sales, the restaurant industry must continually adapt to evolving consumer trends. Among the most important trends facing the industry are those associated with healthful eating choices, sustainability and the environment, cultural change and its influence on cuisine innovation, and matching consumers’ menu choice decision making with successful menu promotion strategies.

Future of Foodservice: Food and Beverage Menu Trends & Opportunities helps restaurant industry participants adapt to and plan for these important consumer trends. With respect to each of these themes, drawing from consumer survey results and menu databases, this report identifies what consumers want on the menu and what motivates them to try menu items. It also assesses the degree restaurant menus are adapting to those consumer wants and needs, and presents forward-thinking guidance on how restaurants can continue to shape their menus to meet them. Each section of the report includes an “outlook” summary providing forward guidance. To support our analysis, hundreds of menu examples are woven throughout the report.

More specifically, the report:
  • Identifies what motivates consumers to try a menu entrée. Building from proprietary survey results, we assess the degree various menu motivators influence restaurant goers to try new menu entrées. Themes include price, customization, health presence of vegetables, and seasonal items.
  • Analyzes consumer attitudes toward budgeting, the role fast food plays in budgeting, and draws conclusions about the relationship between budgeting and restaurant use.
  • Trends consumer health & diet attitudes and sustainability/environment attitudes over a 10-year period by demographic.
  • Trends menu prices from 2010 to 2014 for selected beverages and food entrees.
  • Examines menu promotional strategies on the menu and “beyond” the menu.
  • Assesses the degree consumers are influenced by healthful menu messaging & sustainability/environmental messaging when making food ordering decisions. Health analysis is framed by three health concepts: inherent health, diet-related health, and lifestyle.
  • Analyzes the degree restaurants are providing healthful menu items (also framed around inherent health, diet-related health, and lifestyle) and sustainability/environmental menu items. It also compares differences between “all” chain and independent restaurants and top chain restaurants.
  • Presents case studies of major chains’ health positioning and strategies, built from consumer survey analysis. Heath-driven case studies include Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill, Outback Steakhouse, The Cheesecake Factory, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin’ Donuts and Jamba Juice. Sustainability case studies include Dunkin’ Donuts and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
  • Assesses factors driving cultural change, including demographic trends and projections.
  • Gauges consumer interest in 25 cuisine types. In doing so, we examine consumer interest in trying each cuisine at 1) a fast food restaurant that specializes in that cuisine; 2) a mainstream fast food restaurant chain; 3) a mainstream sit-down restaurant chain; and 4) a sit-down restaurant that specializes in that cuisine.
  • Assesses 1) the degree restaurants are categorized as ethnic and non-ethnic (i.e. that serve a particular featured cuisine) and 2) the degree restaurants serve menu items categorized as ethnic and non-ethnic. In doing so, we analyze 25 different cuisine types.
  • Presents a “consumer health report card,” including per capita calorie trending, new menu item calorie trends, obesity trends, and connections between restaurant dining and obesity.
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