Most of the LTOs with high purchase intent are not groundbreakers. They either have three ingredients or fewer (e.g., Domino’s Bread Twists feature garlic, Parmesan and bread) or feature a collection of familiar ingredients (e.g., Burger King’s Homestyle Cheeseburger is basically a standard BK cheeseburger with a quarter-pound beef patty).
Health gets trumped
Of the top 500 chain LTOs with the greatest draw and purchase intent, few are considered healthy. As much as consumers say they want to see healthier items at restaurants, these lists prove that better-for-you fare gets trumped by the nachos and burgers of the world in terms of both purchase intent and draw.
Where’s the chicken?
Chicken is notably lacking from the top 500 chain LTOs with the greatest draw and purchase intent. Although 2017 has been a big year for chicken rollouts, consumers seem to find red meat LTOs more enticing. Seafood, also, didn’t see much love. Several seafood items made the top 10 for draw but not purchase intent.
Seafood also didn’t feel the love. Several seafood items make the top 10 for draw but not purchase intent. Compared to beef and pork, seafood seems to appeal to significantly fewer consumers, but those who enjoy it are willing to seek out particular seafood items because fish and shellfish aren’t as widely available as other proteins.
Meat and potatoes
Though many younger consumers today identify as foodies, the vast majority prefer standard meat and potatoes (a la Ruby Tuesday’s Baby Back Ribs, Seasons 52’s Homefries, etc.) at restaurants. There’s a reason the pairing is such a lure—the foods are familiar favorites. It’s no surprise that beef and pork are the sole proteins in the top 10 list for purchase intent (with the exception of one turkey mention—O’Charley’s The Club Sandwich).
Two sweets pop up in the top 10 list for greatest draw, but none are featured in the purchase intent list. This suggests that while consumers may intend to order a dessert when they visit a restaurant, once there, they’re deterred—likely by satiety, per Technomic’s 2017 Dessert Consumer Trend Report.