Consumer Trends

What's for lunch?

For operators, lunch can be one of the most unpredictable meals of the day in terms of what builds traffic. However, new research from Technomic aims to cut down on the mystery. Targeted at Millennials (ages 18-34), the study suggests that value is the number one motivator in eating out for lunch. Unlike Baby Boomers and older generations who tend to look at health and quality, the Millennials are focused on finding the best deal. Here are some additional findings from Technomic’s Lunch Consumer Trend Report:

  • Fast, portable, inexpensive away-from-home lunch options are top consumer priorities during the week. On weekends, diners pay more attention to customization and fresh preparation
  • Despite an increase in brown bagging during the week, 35% of surveyed consumers still buy lunch from restaurants or other foodservice operations
  • More that half of consumers say they skip lunch at least once a week and about two-thirds say they replace lunch with a snack at least once a week. Operators can likely appeal to consumers who frequently replace lunch with snacks by offering a greater selection of smaller, better-for-you options
  • Almost half (47%) of consumers say they primarily visit the same few familiar restaurants at lunch. Even though they might stick to a relatively small number of outlets, two out of five say they eat a wide variety of foods for lunch, so variety and customization options remain important


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