QSRs Take A Healthy Turn In The Fast-Paced World Of Eating Out

May 21, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As Americans embrace a busier lifestyle, research shows that quick serve restaurants (QSRs) play an important role in many households. Speed of service and convenience have always been essential to on-the-go consumers, but healthy options are becoming increasingly important. These latest trends are detailed in a new white paper, "QSRs and America's Changing Tastes," by Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink.

"Consumers want it all. They want their fast food to be convenient and low-cost, but now it also has to be of higher quality, healthier and use interesting flavor combinations," said Erika Chance, senior FoodThink researcher. "QSRs that have a mixture of these unique qualities, in addition to the basics, will be able to differentiate themselves."

Key takeaways from this white paper by SHS FoodThink that hint at a desire for more from QSRs:

  • Forty-eight percent of consumers want more opportunities to customize orders.
  • Fifty-one percent want QSRs to give them more options for sides.
  • Fifty-eight percent say healthy options are important when selecting a QSR.

Americans are considering a range of attributes when selecting a QSR and quick options are no longer enough. While most consumers still agree that cost, quality and location are top motivators, the white paper outlines the hot buttons that certain segments are more likely to consider important.

"It's all about building a unique offering and giving consumers something they can't get anywhere else," said Chance. "QSRs are becoming less about get-your-food-to-go, transactional experiences. Today, it's more about the overall experience."

FoodThink white papers are built on proprietary research conducted in early 2014 and utilize the responses from more than 2,000 U.S. consumers of diverse demographic backgrounds.

Download a free copy of the white paper with key implications and follow the blog at shsfoodthink.com.

About Sullivan Higdon & Sink's FoodThink:

2013 Small Agency of the Year – Midwest Sullivan Higdon & Sink is a full-service advertising and marketing agency that hates sheeplike communications, with offices in Kansas City, Wichita and Washington, D.C. One of SHS' core focus areas is food value chain marketing – promoting products all along the farm-to-table spectrum. In early 2014, SHS conducted its second FoodThink research study, monitoring how consumers think about what we eat and America's relationship with food.