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Consumer Trends

Consumer fact check

Providing exclusive consumer trends and insights from Technomic, powered by Ignite, to enhance your marketing strategy. 

Technomic is a Chicago-based consulting and research firm providing a 360-degree view of the food industry. Technomic’s consumer research team provides in-depth data, analysis and insights on consumer attitudes and usage surrounding foodservice products, amenities and brands, based on thousands of nationally representative survey respondents.


February 2018

At leading fast-food chains, overall guest satisfaction is slightly higher for snacking occasions (52%) than traditional meals (49%).

Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2017-Q4 2017 [Technomic]


February 2018

37% of consumers strongly agree that any food can be a snack if the portion is small.

Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


February 2018

48% of consumers say snacks that are energizing are very appealing.

Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


February 2018

57% of consumers say it’s very important that the snacks they choose are from a brand they like.

Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


February 2018

42% of consumers’ snacking occasions include both food and beverage.

Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


February 2018

30% of consumers say snacking in between meals is part of a healthy diet.

Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


February 2018

44% of consumers at least somewhat agree that they eat snacks as a sort of second breakfast once they get to work or school.

Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


February 2018

32% of consumers usually skip or replace one meal per day with snacks.

Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


February 2018

80% of consumers typically snack in-between meals at least once a day.

Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2018

Among all FSRs tracked, Ruby Tuesday has the most craveable salad.

Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2017-Q4 2017 [Technomic]


January 2018

Among all LSRs tracked, Panera Bread has the most craveable soup. 

Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2017-Q4 2017 [Technomic]


January 2018

41% of consumers strongly agree that restaurants should offer at least one vegetarian soup.

2018 Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2018

52% of consumers strongly agree that they usually prefer to build their own salads.

2018 Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2018

47% of consumers are interested in trying new or unique types of soup.

2018 Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2018

65% of consumers strongly agree that dressing is important for adding flavor to salad.

2018 Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2018

35% of consumers feel healthier after eating meals that include soup.

2018 Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2018

40% of consumers order salad at least most times they visit restaurants.

2018 Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2018

17% of consumers are likely to order soup as a snack, up from 11% in 2015.

2018 Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


December 2017

Among all convenience stores tracked, Cumberland Farms has the most craveable coffee.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q4 2016-Q3 2017 [Technomic]


December 2017

Among all convenience stores tracked, Rutter’s Farm Stores ranks first for food quality.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q4 2016-Q3 2017 [Technomic]


December 2017

Among all retailers tracked, Whole Foods Market is the top-rated chain for availability of healthy options.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q4 2016-Q3 2017 [Technomic]


December 2017

Among all retailers tracked, Wegmans has the highest score for food taste and flavor .

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q4 2016-Q3 2017 [Technomic]


December 2017

64% of consumers say packaging quality is very important in the decision to purchase prepared foods from a retail store.

2017 Retail Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


December 2017

Among consumers purchasing RMS more often now than one year ago, 36% say they’re visiting fast-casual restaurants less often as a result.

2017 Retail Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


December 2017

40% of consumers say they would like retail stores to offer more prepared foods that feature ethnic flavors or ingredients.

2017 Retail Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


December 2017

48% of consumers strongly agree that the quality of retail prepared foods has greatly improved over the past two years.

2017 Retail Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


December 2017

44% of consumers say better-for-you choices are very important in the decision to purchase prepared foods from a retail store.

2017 Retail Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


December 2017

80% of consumers purchase prepared foods from a grocery store, convenience store or other retail store at least once a month.

2017 Retail Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


November 2017

Among all chains tracked, Chick-Fil-A has the highest overall rating among recent breakfast guests.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q4 2016-Q3 2017 [Technomic]


November 2017

Among all chains tracked, IHOP has the most craveable breakfast starches.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q4 2016-Q3 2017 [Technomic]


November 2017

Among all chains tracked, First Watch has the most craveable egg dishes.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q4 2016-Q3 2017 [Technomic]


November 2017

28% of consumers strongly agree that they’d be likely to order breakfast for delivery if it were available.

2017 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


November 2017

26% of consumers, and 35% of 18- to 34-year-olds, would like more restaurants to offer chicken for breakfast.

2017 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


November 2017

46% of consumers enjoy eating breakfast foods at non-traditional times.

2017 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


November 2017

31% of consumers consider breakfast to be more of a destination meal now than two years ago.

2017 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


November 2017

56% of consumers are more likely to purchase breakfast items that are high in protein.

2017 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


November 2017

40% of consumers typically eat brunch at least once a week.

2017 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


October 2017

Among all QSRs tracked, Cold Stone Creamery is the top-ranked chain for food taste and flavor.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q3 2016-Q2 2017 [Technomic]


October 2017

Among all fast casuals tracked, Firehouse Subs is the top-ranked chain for food taste and flavor.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q3 2016-Q2 2017 [Technomic]


October 2017

Among all FSRs tracked, First Watch is the top-ranked chain for food taste and flavor.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q3 2016-Q2 2017 [Technomic]


October 2017

24% of consumers purchase ethnic flavors from restaurants at least once a week.

2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


October 2017

49% of consumers find sweet and tangy flavor combinations highly appealing, up from 44% in 2015.

2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


October 2017

39% of consumers say it’s important that restaurants offer local flavors.

2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


October 2017

47% of 18- to 34-year-olds say their preferences tend to change with the seasons, up from 39% in 2015.

2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


October 2017

23% of baby boomers prefer to stick to their favorite flavors and rarely try new ones, up from 17% in 2015.

2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


October 2017

20% of millennials and 22% of Gen Xers actively seek out new flavors to try on a regular basis.

2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


September 2017

53% of desserts eaten after a restaurant meal are eaten at the same restaurant, while 34% are eaten at home and 14% are eaten at a different restaurant. 

2017 Dessert Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


September 2017

22% of consumers say they often feel guilty after eating dessert. 

2017 Dessert Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


September 2017

46% of dessert purchases are planned, up from 42% in 2016.

2017 Dessert Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


September 2017

51% of 18- to 34-year-olds say they sometimes visit a specific restaurant for a meal because they offer a dessert they want to order after the meal.  

2017 Dessert Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


September 2017

43% of desserts ordered at FSRs are shared, compared to 32% at LSRs. 

2017 Dessert Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


September 2017

Among all chains tracked, El Pollo Loco has the most craveable fried desserts.

Consumer Brand Metrics; Q3 2016-Q2 2017 [Technomic]


September 2017

Among all FSRs tracked, Friendly’s has the most craveable ice cream/yogurt. 

Consumer Brand Metrics; Q3 2016-Q2 2017 [Technomic]


September 2017

Among all LSRs tracked, Baskin-Robbins has the most craveable ice cream/yogurt. 

Consumer Brand Metrics; Q3 2016-Q2 2017 [Technomic]


September 2017

49% of consumers would consider purchasing a brownie for dessert after lunch.

2017 Dessert Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


September 2017

75% of consumers are more likely to purchase desserts that are made from scratch. 

2017 Dessert Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


September 2017

57% of consumers eat dessert after a meal at least once a week.

2017 Dessert Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


August 2017

Among all full-service restaurants tracked, Red Robin has the most craveable fries.  

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q3 2016-Q2 2017 [Technomic]


August 2017

Among all limited-service restaurants tracked, Jimmy John’s has the most craveable chips. 

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q3 2016-Q2 2017 [Technomic]


August 2017

Among all full-service restaurants tracked, Olive Garden has the most craveable soups and salads.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q3 2016-Q2 2017 [Technomic]


August 2017

42% of consumers strongly agree that ordering small plates is a great way to share dishes when dining with a large group.

2017 Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


August 2017

15% of the sides ordered by 18- to 34-year-olds are consumed as snacks.

2017 Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


August 2017

36% of consumers would like restaurants to offer more small plates with ethnic flavors or ingredients. 

2017 Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


August 2017

45% of consumers are more likely to dine at restaurants that serve complimentary appetizers.

2017 Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


August 2017

62% of consumers say it’s important that they can choose the side that comes with their entree.

2017 Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


August 2017

51% of consumers are more willing to try a new flavor or ingredient in a small plate than in an entree. 

2017 Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


August 2017

38% of consumers strongly agree that they sometimes visit a certain restaurant because they are craving a specific appetizer. 

2017 Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


July 2017

Among all FSRs tracked, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen and Waffle House are tied as the top-rated chains for affordability.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q2 2016-Q1 2017 [Technomic]


July 2017

Among all LSRs tracked, Little Caesars is the top-rated chain for affordability. 

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q2 2016-Q1 2017 [Technomic]


July 2017

Among all FSRs tracked, Abuelo’s is the top-rated chain for overall value. 

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q2 2016-Q1 2017 [Technomic]


July 2017

Among all LSRs tracked, Chick-Fil-A is the top-rated chain for overall value. 

2017 Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


July 2017

57% of consumers say the use of sustainable foods is very important in creating a good value at restaurants, up from 52% in 2015. 

2017 Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


July 2017

37% of consumers strongly agree that they are seeking out restaurant deals more often now than two years ago. 

2017 Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


July 2017

Nearly half of consumers (48%) look for low prices from restaurants so they can go out to eat more often.

2017 Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


July 2017

34% of consumers say kids-eat-free specials are very likely to influence them to visit a restaurant, up from 27% in 2015. 

2017 Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


July 2017

25% of consumers participate in a restaurant-based loyalty or rewards program. 

2017 Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


July 2017

More consumers now (58%) than in 2015 (52%) are highly satisfied with the value for money spent at fast-food restaurants. 

2017 Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


July 2017

41% of consumers strongly agree that coupons and deals help take the risk out of trying a new restaurant. 

2017 Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


June 2017

Among all limited-service burger chains tracked, SONIC Drive-In has the highest rating for memorable advertising.

Consumer Brand Metrics; Q2 2016-Q1 2017 [Technomic]


June 2017

Among all limited-service burger chains tracked, White Castle ranks highest for uniqueness.

Consumer Brand Metrics; Q2 2016-Q1 2017 [Technomic]


June 2017

Among all limited-service burger chains tracked, Smashburger has the highest rating for availability of healthy options.

Consumer Brand Metrics; Q2 2016-Q1 2017 [Technomic]


June 2017

Among all limited-service burger chains tracked, In-N-Out ranks highest for food quality.

Consumer Brand Metrics; Q2 2016-Q1 2017 [Technomic]


June 2017

59% of consumers find burger combo meals including a side and drink very appealing.

2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


June 2017

35% of consumers say it’s very important that restaurants offer burgers with new and unique flavors.

2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


June 2017

22% of consumers eat mini-burgers or sliders at least once a month.

2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


June 2017

50% of consumers say it’s very important that restaurants offer a wide variety of burger toppings.

2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


June 2017

37% of consumers would consider ordering a burger topped with barbecue sauce.

2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


June 2017

58% of consumers say it’s very important that they can customize burger toppings.

2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


June 2017

26% of consumers say breakfast burgers are highly appealing, up from 22% in 2015.

2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


June 2017

56% of consumers eat burgers at least once a week.

2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


May 2017

Nearly half (46%) of students’ meals are taken to go.

2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


May 2017

43% of students say dining programs and amenities were at least somewhat important in deciding which school to attend.

2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


May 2017

41% of students say it’s important that the foodservice locations they visit are socially and environmentally responsible. 

2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


May 2017

54% of students strongly agree that it’s important to eat healthy and pay attention to nutrition.

2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


May 2017

42% of students would like their schools’ foodservice facilities to offer more technology to enhance convenience.

2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


May 2017

23% of students prefer sports drinks for lunch, up from 18% in 2015. 

2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


May 2017

21% of students typically skip breakfast.

2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


May 2017

36% of students say they are more likely to purchase breakfast off campus rather than on campus, up from 30% in 2015.

2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


May 2017

53% of students visit off-campus restaurants more often during the weekend than during the week.

2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


May 2017

66% of students order food from an off-campus restaurant at least once a week.

2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


May 2017

79% of college freshman purchase food or beverage from an on-campus foodservice facility at least once a week, compared to 62% of seniors.

2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


April 2017

Among all FSRs tracked, Denny’s has the highest percentage of monthly+ users who are Hispanic.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2016-Q4 2016 [Technomic]


April 2017

Among all LSRs tracked, Pollo Campero has the highest percentage of monthly+ users who are Hispanic.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2016-Q4 2016 [Technomic]


April 2017

In-N-Out Burger has the highest overall rating among Hispanic consumers.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2016-Q4 2016 [Technomic]


April 2017

49% of Hispanic consumers say loyalty programs encourage them to visit specific restaurants.

2017 Hispanic Foodservice Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


April 2017

59% of Hispanic consumers say it’s important for Hispanic food at American-style restaurants to taste authentic.

2017 Hispanic Foodservice Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


April 2017

29% of Hispanic consumers say their children usually decide which restaurant or other foodservice location they visit.

2017 Hispanic Foodservice Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


April 2017

38% of Hispanic consumers’ snacks are purchased from a restaurant or other foodservice establishment.

2017 Hispanic Foodservice Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


April 2017

80% of Spanish-dominant Hispanic consumers say they are much more likely to visit restaurants with Spanish-language advertisements, compared to 16% of English-dominant consumers.

2017 Hispanic Foodservice Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


April 2017

19% of Hispanic consumers’ restaurant purchases are ordered for delivery.

2017 Hispanic Foodservice Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


April 2017

37% of Hispanic consumers say they are purchasing food away from home more often now than two years ago.

2017 Hispanic Foodservice Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


April 2017

34% of Hispanic foodservice consumers visit fast-casual restaurants at least once a week, up from 26% in 2015 and 22% in 2013.

2017 Hispanic Foodservice Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


March 2017

Among all chains tracked, Wingstop has the most craveable wings.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2016-Q4 2016 [Technomic]


March 2017

Among all FSRs tracked, P.F. Chang’s has the most craveable chicken.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2016-Q4 2016 [Technomic]


March 2017

Among all LSRs tracked, KFC has the most craveable chicken.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2016-Q4 2016 [Technomic]


March 2017

39% of consumers would order a turkey-based burger for lunch or dinner, up from 33% in 2015.

2017 COP: Poultry Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


March 2017

36% of consumers strongly agree that it’s important for the turkey offered at restaurants to be from a well-known brand.

2017 COP: Poultry Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


March 2017

39% of consumers are more likely now than two years ago to order turkey outside of the holiday season.

2017 COP: Poultry Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


March 2017

40% of consumers would like restaurants to offer a wider variety of turkey sandwiches.

2017 COP: Poultry Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


March 2017

Preference for chicken dishes with Asian flavors is highest among consumers living in the West.

2017 COP: Poultry Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


March 2017

50% of consumers say it’s important that they can customize the preparation style for the chicken they order.

2017 COP: Poultry Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


March 2017

45% of consumers strongly agree that restaurants should offer more chicken entrees with ethnic flavors or ingredients.

2017 COP: Poultry Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


\March 2017

47% of consumers strongly agree that restaurants should be transparent about where they source their poultry.

2017 COP: Poultry Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


February 2017

Among all LSRs tracked, Captain D’s has the most craveable seafood.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2016-Q4 2016 [Technomic]


February 2017

Among all FSRs tracked, Joe’s Crab Shack has the most craveable seafood.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2016-Q4 2016 [Technomic]


February 2017

Among all LSRs tracked, Pollo Tropical has the most craveable vegetables.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2016-Q4 2016 [Technomic]


February 2017

Among all FSRs tracked, P.F. Chang’s has the most craveable vegetables.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q1 2016-Q4 2016 [Technomic]


February 2017

Roughly a third of consumers would order fish (36%) or shellfish (32%) dishes with ethnic flavors.

2017 COP: Seafood & Vegetarian CTR [Technomic]


February 2017

59% of consumers would consider ordering Mexican-style dishes with meat alternatives.

2017 COP: Seafood & Vegetarian CTR [Technomic]


February 2017

58% of consumers strongly agree that seafood is just as filling as meals that include meat.

2017 COP: Seafood & Vegetarian CTR [Technomic]


February 2017

43% of consumers strongly agree that vegetarian meals are typically healthier than non-vegetarian options at restaurants.

2017 COP: Seafood & Vegetarian CTR [Technomic]


February 2017

39% of consumers order seafood because it’s healthier than meat options.

2017 COP: Seafood & Vegetarian CTR [Technomic]


February 2017

41% of consumers say they are eating more vegetables now than a year ago.

2017 COP: Seafood & Vegetarian CTR [Technomic]


February 2017

65% of consumers, and 71% of consumers 35+, eat seafood at least once every 90 days.

2017 COP: Seafood & Vegetarian CTR [Technomic]


February 2017

59% of consumers eat meatless meals (i.e., meals including seafood or meat-free proteins) at least once a week.

2017 COP: Seafood & Vegetarian CTR [Technomic]


January 2017

Among all LSRs tracked, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has the most craveable pork.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q4 2015-Q3 2016 [Technomic]


January 2017

Among all FSRs tracked, Bob Evans has the most craveable pork.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q4 2015-Q3 2016 [Technomic]


January 2017

Among all LSRs tracked, Arby’s has the most craveable beef.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q4 2015-Q3 2016 [Technomic]


January 2017

Among all FSRs tracked, LongHorn Steakhouse has the most craveable beef.

Consumer Brand Metrics, Q4 2015-Q3 2016 [Technomic]


January 2017

40% of consumers are interested in trying ethnically-inspired pork dishes.

2016 Center of the Plate: Beef & Pork Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2017

45% of consumers consider beef to be healthy because it’s high in protein.

2016 Center of the Plate: Beef & Pork Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2017

More consumers now (61%) than in 2014 (56%) say flavors imparted by seasonings or spices are very appealing for pork dishes.

2016 Center of the Plate: Beef & Pork Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2017

47% of consumers are highly likely to order beef dishes with spicy flavors at least occasionally.

2016 Center of the Plate: Beef & Pork Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2017

78% of consumers say beef or pork described as ‘lean’ is healthier, and 42% say it is tastier.

2016 Center of the Plate: Beef & Pork Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2017

More consumers now (45%) than in 2014 (40%) say it’s important to know from which country the pork they eat is raised.

2016 Center of the Plate: Beef & Pork Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


January 2017

76% of consumers’ meals include meat, poultry or seafood.

2016 Center of the Plate: Beef & Pork Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]


 

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