The Hartman Group, Foodservice Solutions and Broad Street Licensing Group have announced a joint venture to study the food marketplace.

The Hartman Group will work with Steven Johnson, president of Foodservice Solutions; Bill Cross, author of “The Grocerant”; and Broad Street’s Bill Cross, VP of Restaurant & Food Brand Licensing.

"Industry executives worry consumers have information and choice overload. But those same consumers are reveling in their new-found freedom and choices," Cross said. "They don’t want to go back to the way things were before the economic downturn, and that’s changing the paradigm of how food is marketed, sold and consumed. Snacking, for example, is no longer a bridge between meals, but is a meal occasion in its own right, with younger consumers throwing out the dinner schedule and eating what - and when - they want to. This offers an historic opportunity to marketers with the alacrity and elasticity to take advantage of these changes.”

According to a joint announcement, the study will ask about what foods Americans are eating, trends in their purchasing and consumption habits, the importance of brands, and whether private label is going to replace national brands at grocers. Other topics include whether licensing restaurant brands to retail harms the value of those brands in the eyes of patrons. 

"Restaurants and manufacturers are always seeking hard data on consumer trends, habits and direction. This study is going to provide just that,” Cross said.

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