Technomic Report: Lunch Consumer Trends

Chicago, August 27, 2014, PRNewswire — Consumers regularly eat lunch away from home—a couple of days a week, on average. Operators have been focusing their efforts on gaining a larger share of lunch visits during this highly competitive daypart.

Convenience and speed of service are key needstates for lunch. However, today's consumers are also calling for higher-quality fare (80 percent, up from 70 percent in 2011) and unique and innovative lunch items. Additionally, the availability of healthy items and smaller portion sizes continue to factor into today's purchasing decision—especially during weekday lunch visits.

"There are definitely opportunities to take share in the lunch daypart," said Sara Monnette, Sr. Director, Consumer Insights & Innovation at Technomic. "Promotion of premium limited-time items, staggered portion sizes and better-for-you menu specialties could help capture customer attention and drive midday traffic."

To help foodservice executives understand the latest behaviors, preferences and attitudes of consumers' lunch occasions, Technomic has published an update of its Lunch Consumer Trend Report. Interesting findings 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

Technomic's Lunch Consumer Trend Report provides comprehensive research on the latest menu and consumer trends for lunch, organized into five sections:

Menu Insights—utilizes Technomic's exclusive MenuMonitor data to reveal menu-development trends for lunch at Top 500 restaurant chains.

Consumer Insights—analyzes consumer preferences and attitudes toward lunch, based on findings from a nationally representative survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers.

Competitive Insights—examines consumer perceptions of attributes important to the lunch occasion, including convenient location, speed of visit, food taste and quality, affordability, takeout capabilities and more at leading chains, based on Technomic's Consumer Brand Metrics (CBM) program.

Outlook: Trends to Watch—explores emerging menu, concept and consumer trends that are poised to impact how restaurant operators promote lunch in the future.

Profiles—appendices feature in-depth profiles for 10 trend-setting foodservice brands featuring menus and service formats that are geared toward the lunch daypart.

Technomic publishes a complete library of consumer trend reports. To learn more, please visit Technomic.com or contact one of the individuals listed below. For Technomic updates, please follow us on TwitterLinkedIn or our blog.

Contacts:
Press Inquiries: Sara Monnette, 312-506-3848, or smonnette@technomic.com
Purchasing Details: Patrick Noone, 312-506-3852, or pnoone@technomic.com
Report Details: Kelly Weikel, 312-506-3830, or kweikel@technomic.com

About Technomic

Technomic provides comprehensive global information, analysis and insights to food industry executives through high quality fact-based consulting, market research, online databases, tracking services and industry events. Our programs and services are designed to target the specific needs of leadership, sales, management, marketing and product development professionals. At Technomic, we're always innovating to keep pace with emerging global markets and trends. For over 45 years we've been supporting clients' strategic decisions. Our breadth of research enables us to keep a pulse on the food industry, by providing insights into local markets with a global scope. Visit us at technomic.com.

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