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LSR: Ethnic Concepts - US - February 2014

“With an increase in interest for exotic and authentic cuisine, Latin, Asian, and Mediterranean concepts are entering the marketplace in abundance. This rapid growth of ethnic limited-service restaurants is due in part to the success of the fast casual assembly-line model. This operational strategy helps deliver the level of authenticity and health a customer desires through customization. It also increases transparency, which is a hot topic in the industry over the past few years.”

– Bethany Wall, Foodservice Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Authenticity: What aspects affect authenticity and how important are they?
  • Health: Can operators meet the varying nutritional demands of consumers?
  • Customization: What are the most effective ways to provide variety?

The ethnic restaurant niche of limited-service restaurants is growing quickly with the increase of fast casual concepts looking to carve out a unique position. These concepts are going beyond the traditional comfort cuisines (i.e., Italian, Mexican, and Asian), which have become the standard for the market. As consumers’ palates are becoming more sophisticated, ethnic cuisines are becoming increasingly popular. It is important to gauge which types of concepts are being used and how to target potential opportunities. Also, healthfulness is more and more important to consumers, but ethnic cuisines are traditionally indulgent in the way of high carbohydrate and sodium levels. This report will explore how restaurants can provide healthy offerings while staying authentic and how concepts can tailor their offerings to fit a range of consumers through customization.

This is a new report focusing on ethnic limited-service restaurants. This includes quick service and fast casual concepts that serve non-American cuisine including: Latin, Asian, Italian, Mediterranean, Indian and other. The report focuses on usage, ordering method, consumption place, changes in behavior, deal motivators, drivers determining operator decision, and attitudes of consumers.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Mintel Menu Insights
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • The market
                        • Market drivers
                          • Competitive context
                            • Offerings and marketing
                              • Menu analysis
                                • Figure 1: Menu section breakdown of food items at ethnic limited-service restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010-13
                                • Figure 2: Top 10 food items at ethnic limited-service restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010-13
                              • Consumer data
                                • Figure 3: LSR ethnic concept deals, November 2013
                                • Figure 4: LSR ethnic concept drivers, November 2013
                              • What we think
                              • Issues and Insights

                                  • Authenticity: What aspects affect authenticity and how important are they?
                                    • The issues
                                      • The implications
                                        • Health: Can operators meet the varying nutritional demands of consumers?
                                          • The issues
                                            • The implications
                                              • Customization: What are the most effective ways to provide variety?
                                                • The issues
                                                  • The implications
                                                  • Trend Application

                                                      • Trend: Prove It!
                                                        • Trend: Edutainment
                                                          • Mintel Futures: Generation Next
                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Market size insight
                                                                • Quick-service restaurant sales and forecast
                                                                  • Figure 5: Total U.S. retail sales of quick-service restaurants, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                  • Figure 6: Total U.S. retail sales of quick-service restaurants, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2008-18
                                                                • Quick service fan chart forecast
                                                                    • Figure 7: Total U.S. retail sales of quick-service restaurants, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                  • Fast casual sales and forecast
                                                                    • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of fast casual restaurants, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                    • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of fast casual restaurants, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2008-18
                                                                  • Fast casual fan chart forecast
                                                                      • Figure 10: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of fast casual restaurants, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                    • Economic indicators
                                                                      • Cost and inflation of food items
                                                                        • Corporate responsibility
                                                                          • Healthy diet and active lifestyle
                                                                            • Governmental legislation
                                                                              • Gluten-free and allergens
                                                                                • Millennials drive usage
                                                                                  • Promoting health to children
                                                                                  • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                      • Innovative items
                                                                                        • On-the-go
                                                                                          • Customization
                                                                                            • Better-for-you options
                                                                                              • Focus on protein
                                                                                                • Temporary offerings
                                                                                                  • Breakfast offerings
                                                                                                    • Alcohol offerings
                                                                                                      • Branding
                                                                                                        • Technology
                                                                                                          • Mobile
                                                                                                            • In-Store
                                                                                                            • Competitive Context

                                                                                                              • Eating at home
                                                                                                                • Convenience stores, kiosks, vending machines and food trucks
                                                                                                                  • Limited-service restaurants
                                                                                                                    • Catering and delivery
                                                                                                                      • Full-service restaurants
                                                                                                                      • Featured Companies

                                                                                                                        • Latin concepts
                                                                                                                          • Asian concepts
                                                                                                                            • Mediterranean and European concepts
                                                                                                                            • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                              • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                                                                                • Freebies and discounts
                                                                                                                                  • Crowdsourcing
                                                                                                                                    • Endorsements and cobranding
                                                                                                                                      • Games
                                                                                                                                        • Social media
                                                                                                                                          • Out of home
                                                                                                                                            • Causes and charity
                                                                                                                                              • No Kid Hungry
                                                                                                                                              • Menu Analysis

                                                                                                                                                • Menu breakdown of ethnic limited-service restaurants
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 11: Menu section breakdown of food items at ethnic limited-service restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                  • Leading food items at ethnic limited-service menus
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 12: Top 10 food items at ethnic limited-service restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 13: Cuisine-type breakdown of food items at ethnic limited-service restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                    • Preparation methods on ethnic limited-service menus
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 14: Top 10 preparation methods for food items at ethnic limited-service restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                      • Nutritional claims on ethnic limited-service menus
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 15: Top 10 nutritional claims for food items at ethnic limited-service restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                        • Menu item claims on ethnic limited-service menus
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 16: Top 10 menu item claims for food items at ethnic limited-service restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                          • Drinks on ethnic limited-service menus
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 17: Top 10 drink items at ethnic limited-service restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: Cuisine-type breakdown of drink items at ethnic limited-service restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer Data – Overview

                                                                                                                                                            • Overview usage of ethnic limited serves by segment and cuisine type
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: LSR ethnic concept usage, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 20: LSR ethnic concept usage, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Consumption place for ethnic limited-service restaurant orders
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: LSR ethnic concept consumption place, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Ordering method for ethnic limited-service restaurant orders
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: LSR ethnic concept ordering method, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Changes in behavior around usage of ethnic limited-service restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: LSR ethnic concept changes in behavior, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Deals users of ethnic limited-service restaurants desire
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: LSR ethnic concept deals, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Drivers influencing consumers surrounding usage at ethnic limited serves
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: LSR ethnic concept drivers, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes of consumers that use ethnic limited-service restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: LSR ethnic concept attitudes, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer Data – By Segment

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Quick-serve users are more likely to use drive-thrus and seek value menus
                                                                                                                                                                      • Fast casual users are more likely to place orders for dine-in
                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer tables by segment
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: LSR ethnic concept usage, by restaurant segments, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: LSR ethnic concept usage (nets), by restaurant segments, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: LSR ethnic concept consumption place, by restaurant segments, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: LSR ethnic concept ordering method, by restaurant segments, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: LSR ethnic concept changes in behavior – More, by restaurant segments, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: LSR ethnic concept deals, by restaurant segments, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: LSR ethnic concept drivers, by restaurant segments, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Agreement with LSR ethnic concept attitudes, by restaurant segments, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Data – By Gender

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Men order to-go using mobile devices and don’t consider portion size
                                                                                                                                                                            • Women use drive-thrus and focus heavily on healthfulness and price point
                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer tables by gender
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: LSR ethnic concept usage, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: LSR ethnic concept usage (nets), by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: LSR ethnic concept consumption place, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: LSR ethnic concept ordering method, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: LSR ethnic concept changes in behavior – More, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: LSR ethnic concept deals, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: LSR ethnic concept drivers, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Agreement with LSR ethnic concept attitudes, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer Data – By Generation

                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                • Younger Millennials are price sensitive and don’t find authenticity important
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Older Millennials seek health and have increased their use of tech
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Baby Boomers seek variety and like daily specials and printable coupons
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Older consumers have lower usage of ethnic concepts and like to dine-in
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer tables by generation
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: LSR ethnic concept usage, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: LSR ethnic concept usage (nets), by generations, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: LSR ethnic concept consumption place, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: LSR ethnic concept ordering method, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: LSR ethnic concept changes in behavior, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: LSR ethnic concept deals, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: LSR ethnic concept drivers, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Agreement with LSR ethnic concept attitudes, by generations, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Data – By Income

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lower income focus on price, order via drive-thru and eat orders at home
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Middle-income consumers are the highest users and most likely to dine-in
                                                                                                                                                                                              • The affluent seek healthy, upscale items and are interested in punch cards
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer tables by income
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: LSR ethnic concept usage, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: LSR ethnic concept usage (nets), by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: LSR ethnic concept consumption place, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: LSR ethnic concept ordering method, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: LSR ethnic concept changes in behavior, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: LSR ethnic concept deals, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: LSR ethnic concept drivers, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Agreement with LSR ethnic concept attitudes, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer Data – By Race

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Whites are price-conscious, seek printed coupons, and use drive-thrus
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Blacks order to-go to eat at-home and seek customization and discounts
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Asians have high usage and place importance on authenticity over price
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer tables by race
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: LSR ethnic concept usage, by race, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: LSR ethnic concept usage (nets), by race, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: LSR ethnic concept consumption place, by race, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: LSR ethnic concept ordering method, by race, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: LSR ethnic concept changes in behavior – More, by race, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: LSR ethnic concept deals, by race, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: LSR ethnic concept drivers, by race, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Agreement with LSR ethnic concept attitudes, by race, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Data – By Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key point
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Hispanics have increased usage and seek authenticity and healthfulness
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer tables by Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: LSR ethnic concept usage, by Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: LSR ethnic concept usage (nets), by Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: LSR ethnic concept consumption place, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: LSR ethnic concept ordering method, by Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: LSR ethnic concept changes in behavior – More, by Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: LSR ethnic concept deals, by Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: LSR ethnic concept drivers, by Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Agreement with LSR ethnic concept attitudes, by Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer Data – By Region

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Midwesterners use drive-thrus and desire ingredient customization
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Northeasterners have low but increasing usage and desire healthy options
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Southerners are least likely to be interested in limited time offer deals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Westerners are more likely to visit Asian QSRs and Latin fast casuals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer tables by region
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 75: LSR ethnic concept usage, by region, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: LSR ethnic concept usage (nets), by region, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 77: LSR ethnic concept consumption place, by region, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 78: LSR ethnic concept ordering method, by region, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 79: LSR ethnic concept changes in behavior – More, by region, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 80: LSR ethnic concept deals, by region, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 81: LSR ethnic concept drivers, by region, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 82: Agreement with LSR ethnic concept attitudes, by region, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Data – By Parents

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Parents are interested in electronic ordering and are open to new items
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Parents with toddlers use fast casuals but don’t see upscale items essential
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Parents with children increased spending but focus on price and use deals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Parents with adult children seek discounts that don’t require multiple visits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer tables by parents
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 83: LSR ethnic concept usage, by parents with children in household, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 84: LSR ethnic concept usage (nets), by parents with children in household, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 85: LSR ethnic concept consumption place, by parents with children in household, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 86: LSR ethnic concept ordering method, by parents with children in household, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 87: LSR ethnic concept changes in behavior – More, by parents with children in household, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 88: LSR ethnic concept deals, by parents with children in household, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 89: LSR ethnic concept drivers, by parents with children in household, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 90: Agreement with LSR ethnic concept attitudes, by parents with children in household, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Additional Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Menu Insights data
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 91: Ethnic limited-service restaurants, by cuisine type, Q3 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 92: Ethnic limited-service restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 93: Top 30 menu items at ethnic limited-service restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer tables by daypart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 94: LSR ethnic concept usage, by dayparts, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 95: LSR ethnic concept usage (nets), by dayparts, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 96: LSR ethnic concept consumption place, by dayparts, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 97: LSR ethnic concept ordering method, by dayparts, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 98: LSR ethnic concept changes in behavior – More, by dayparts, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 99: LSR ethnic concept deals, by dayparts, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 100: LSR ethnic concept drivers, by dayparts, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 101: Agreement with LSR ethnic concept attitudes, by dayparts, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer tables by cuisine type
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 102: LSR ethnic concept usage, by restaurant types, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 103: LSR ethnic concept usage (nets), by restaurant types, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 104: LSR ethnic concept consumption place, by restaurant types, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 105: LSR ethnic concept ordering method, by restaurant types, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 106: LSR ethnic concept changes in behavior – More, by restaurant types, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 107: LSR ethnic concept deals, by restaurant types, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 108: LSR ethnic concept drivers, by restaurant types, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 109: Agreement with LSR ethnic concept attitudes, by restaurant types, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Health and lifestyle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 110: American adults by weight category as determined by body mass index (BMI), 2008-Oct. 28, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Childhood and teen obesity – highest in decades
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 111: Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents aged 2-19, 1971-2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer confidence
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 112: University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment (ICS), 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Unemployment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 113: US unemployment rate, by month, 2002-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 114: US unemployment and underemployment rates, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 115: Number of employed civilians in US, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Retail channels
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 116: Distribution of expenditures on food for off-premise consumption, by channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Racial, ethnic population growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 117: US population by race and Hispanic origin, 2009, 2014, and 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 118: Households with children, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Shifting US demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 119: US population, by age, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 120: US households, by presence of own children, 2003-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Fazoli's Restaurants, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Jones Soda Co.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Pollo Operations, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LSR: Ethnic Concepts - US - February 2014

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