18 Oct The Rise of the Snackable Bites
According to recent restaurant industry research, the future of “snackable bites” is optimistic within the fast casual dining and quick service-dining sector. Rapid growth in this market was predicted, due to a strengthening economy coupled with changing consumer attitudes toward snacking.
Consumer behavioral trends have shown to be positive for snacking. Industry research indicates that today’s consumers snack much more frequently than those polled 5 or even 10 years ago, due to an increasing number of foods and beverages considered to be snacks – served in smaller portions and easy to eat on-the-go.
Almost half of consumers surveyed by Technomic, a fact-based research and consulting firm that has provided foodservice clients around the world with insights for over 50 years, reported consuming multiple snacks on a typical day. This is two times more than the number indicated in a similar poll in 2010. Technomic also concluded that today’s consumers are snacking more out of habit than those polled in 2010, indicating that snacking has become a more customary part of consumers’ daily lives. Snacking taps into basic human desires by providing a social activity that can be enjoyed with one’s peers, offering a means of giving oneself a reward and giving Americans a break to refuel throughout the day.
Not only does research indicate that consumers today are snacking more than in years past, they are also more apt to snack outside of the home. There have been increases in out-of-home snacking and Technomic’s research indicates that consumers will typically consume their snacks within 20 minutes of purchasing the item(s).
These trends indicate opportunities for quick service dining restaurants, as the QSR industry already leads the snacking category. According to Mintel market research, quick service restaurants rank highest in snacking usage and frequency. National chains lead the pack in the snacking category by offering a large variety of snacks bites, wraps, smoothies, salads, and other small-portioned items that are great for on-the-go consumption.
Menu boards play an important role in increasing sales, as does drive thru innovation and drive thru equipment in general. The way the food options are presented by a fast casual dining or quick service dining restaurant are just as important as the food options that are offered.
Industry experts indicate that in order to encourage consumers to snack between dayparts, the category of snack bites needs to have its own designated space on every restaurant menu. Some quick serves market snacking items according to price point, while others market them according to mealtimes. However they are marketed, the key is to give the snack bite a place of their own on a menu board.
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