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Consumer Trends

Consumer trends, insights and preferences

Consumer Trends

Keeping up appearances

The point is that sometimes people want to be like—and liked by—others, and sometimes they want to be different. The topic relates to how health is being redefined.

Consumer Trends

What drives millennials’ food choices?

The NPD Group, a leading market research company, found in its recent National Eating Trends survey that members of the millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, have significantly decreased their rate of dining out. This age group also tends to base their food choices on impulse, price and time. Here are other findings from the NPD report.

Consumers are looking for innovative breakfast foods at all hours of the day and in a variety of forms and sizes. Higher quality ingredients, new flavors and nutritious options are in demand as well. Here are seven trends to watch for on the breakfast front.

U.S. retail sales of natural and organic foods and beverages in 2010 rose 9% over the previous year and 63% higher than sales five years earlier. The market reached a value of nearly $39 billion in sales in 2010, states research publisher Packaged Facts in its report titled Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 3rd Edition.

Once considered a specific culinary style found only in select restaurants, Mediterranean cuisine with Greek, Spanish and Middle Eastern roots is showing up on the menus of national chain eateries. There is a growing consumer interest in Mediterranean cuisine specifically, as Americans become more health- conscious and seek simpler and fresher alternatives that spare the fat.

Menu makers these days are placing more attention on the items that come before and after the main event. Originality, full flavor and familiarity with a twist are the keys to creating successful appetizers in 2012.

The star ratings on consumer-generated websites, such as Yelp! and Chowhound, carry a lot of weight, according to a survey by the Dining Decision Ecosystem. The survey, conducted with 500 participants, found that after a friend’s recommendation, the Internet holds the biggest influence with patrons deciding where to eat.

Nobody does comfort food quite like the South. The current popularity of Southern cooking taps into the need for comfort combined with our cravings for American regional delights.

Americans no longer wait for one of the three main meals to eat; they love to snack—and they do so throughout the day. In fact, when asked as part of a study conducted by the Culinary Visions Panel in October, 2013, when they snack, none of the respondents said they simply don’t partake. Instead, the survey results show that snacking has turned into an all-day dining trend.

Here, based on exclusive data from Chicago research firm Technomic, is our second annual ranking of the restaurant chains that have solved the puzzle, the ones consumers say are their favorites and why.

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