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Consumer Trends

Consumer trends, insights and preferences

Consumer Trends

Restaurant industry outlook softened

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell below 100 in May, 2010 for the first time in three months. The RPI is a monthly composite index that tracks the health and outlook for the industry, including measures of same-store sales, traffic, capital expenditures and labor.

Consumer Trends

Payment preferences are evolving

Consumer payment preferences are changing with the times.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) call for healthier restaurant menus did not fall on deaf ears. According to Mintel Menu Insights, menu items labeled as “healthy” increased 65% from 2009. DGAC also urged restaurants to pay more attention to kids’ menus, as “prevention for obesity in childhood is the single most powerful public health approach to combating America’s obesity epidemic.”

To increase patronage and prices, restaurateurs need to make consumers aware of their sustainable practices, according to a study featured in the August 2010 issue of the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

In the current economic climate, 61 percent of Americans see service as especially important and they are willing to spend 9 percent more when a company provides outstanding service, according to the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer. Similar results were found worldwide. Indian and Japanese consumers are ready to pay 11 percent and 10 percent more respectively for good service.

U.S. branded gift card sales grew monthly from February through June this year, according to research from First Data. Much of the growth was attributed to gift card malls (large gift card displays from a variety of merchants common in grocery and discount stores).

A vast majority of American adults say they enjoy cooking but they only prepare two in five meals at home, according to a survey conducted by the Harris Poll in May.

Executives at food and beverage companies predict improved revenue and profitability this year and next, with 59 percent expecting the sector to recover ahead of the economy as a whole, according to the latest KPMG survey.

The 56th Summer Fancy Food Show, organized by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NAFST), took place from June 27-29 in New York City. It’s the largest marketplace for specialty food and beverages in the U.S., with 2,400 exhibitors from 80 countries showcasing 180,000 products. The NAFST picked a panel of food experts to spot the major trends at the show. Here's what stood out.

Of consumers surveyed during May and June by Market Force Information, 25 percent said they plan to eat out more over the next three months. That’s a significant jump from the December, 2009 survey, when just 5 percent responded with the same intention.

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