Aug. 28, 2014
Consumers want speed, convenience and higher quality fare when they eat lunch out, according to Technomic's recently released Lunch Consumer Trend Report, and they want healthier, smaller portion size options, too.
Considering that consumers regularly eat lunch away from home – a couple of days a week on average -- operators do well to try to snag a larger share of visits during this highly competitive daypart.
"There are definitely opportunities to take share in the lunch daypart," said Sara Monnette, Sr. Director, Consumer Insights & Innovation at Technomic in a company press release. "Promotion of premium limited-time items, staggered portion sizes and better-for-you menu specialties could help capture customer attention and drive midday traffic."
Interesting findings from the Lunch Consumer Trend Report include:
- Consumers demand lunch variety, yet visit a few familiar lunch spots: 60 percent of consumers say that menu variety influences their lunch purchase, yet 47 percent frequent the same lunchtime destinations regularly.
- Diners want appropriately sized lunch portions: three out of 10 consumers (29 percent) expect restaurants to offer smaller lunch portions, and 36 percent (up from 31 percent in 2011) eat a lighter lunch during the week.
- Healthy fare is a strong influencer: consumers say that health factors impact where they purchase lunch during the week (49 percent) and on the weekend (41 percent).
- Sandwiches are a key platform for lunch-menu innovation: top trends this year call for pork-based preparations with a regional flair and trendy Asian-fusion varieties.