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Lunchtime Eating - US - February 2009

This report explores the lunchtime eating market-identifying key developments that are changing consumer habits and perceptions about lunch. Value emerges as a key theme throughout the report and has been intensified by the unstable U.S. economy.

The report covers industry activity in and consumer attitudes and behavior towards full-service restaurants, fast casual restaurants and fast food restaurants, as well as the prepared food sections at supermarkets and convenience stores.

You will also find thoughtful discussion in topics that include:

  • Insight on how marketers could expand traditional lunch hours to capture breakfast skippers as well as target late afternoon diners from snackers to retirees

  • Opportunities to maximize the value proposition by pushing quality in the form of freshness

  • Key insights reveal that moving beyond freshness to progressive food options (i.e. organic) may not be necessary and could be overplayed

  • How the use of technology can advance a restaurants' convenience perception among the important 18-34 demographic as well as full time employees who have limited time for lunch

  • How consumers will react to price changes across foodservice sectors

  • The proliferation of breakfast options and the threat they pose to lunchtime eating as consumers may be forced to choose between dining out opportunities

  • How prepared meals ranging from ready-to-eat foods to supermarket delis have become an increasing threat as marketers tout convenience, reasonable price and customization-factors that foodservice have relied on to differentiate themselves

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

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

                    • The challenge of a recession
                      • Tempered growth
                        • Competition is growing for lunchtime foodservice
                          • Addressing the time-crunch lunch
                            • Encouraging stay-at-homes to go out for lunch
                              • Lunchtime chain profiles
                                • Brand focus: Olive Garden’s formula for success
                                  • Innovation driven by value, technology and marketing claims
                                    • Nutrition increasingly “on” the menu
                                      • Advertising and promotion activity
                                        • Where consumers eat lunch
                                          • How often consumers use each type of foodservice option
                                            • Lunchtime procurement methods
                                              • Effects of time, commute and employment on lunch habits
                                                • The influence of nutritional objectives on lunch choices
                                                  • Perceptions of food quality and variety at lunchtime
                                                    • Lunchtime restaurant preferences
                                                    • Insights and Opportunities

                                                      • Drawing out the traditional lunch hour
                                                        • Wooing the breakfast skipper
                                                          • Late lunch—capturing the afternoon snacker and “early bird” diner
                                                            • Fresh and real food equals quality—underscore with value
                                                              • Lunchtime technology
                                                              • Inspire Insights

                                                                  • Extend My Brand
                                                                    • What's it about?
                                                                      • What we've seen
                                                                        • Specifics
                                                                          • Implications
                                                                            • Does spinning value put brand consistency in jeopardy?
                                                                              • Recession, meet value
                                                                                • Value, meet brand crisis
                                                                                  • Implications
                                                                                  • Competitive Context

                                                                                    • Competing against the sack lunch
                                                                                      • Food away from home price increases managed well
                                                                                        • But does a price ceiling exist?
                                                                                          • Value menu tinkering should not displace QSR price advantage
                                                                                            • Menu hikes among other restaurant segments may tell different story
                                                                                              • Breakfast anyone?
                                                                                                • Prepared meals continue to put the pressure on
                                                                                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Lunch away from home
                                                                                                      • Figure 1: Total U.S. sales of lunch away from home, at current and inflation-adjusted prices, 2003-13
                                                                                                    • Lunch away from home: Fast food versus full-service restaurants
                                                                                                      • Figure 2: Lunch away from home: fast food versus full-service restaurants, 2006 and 2008
                                                                                                    • Sales by daypart
                                                                                                      • Figure 3: Full-service versus limited-service restaurants, percentage of sales by daypart, 2008
                                                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                                                    • Today’s forecast: Lots of rain and clouds
                                                                                                      • Bottom line—restaurant industry in recession
                                                                                                        • Figure 4: Restaurant Performance Index, current situation, and expectations, November 2007-October 2008
                                                                                                      • Consumer reaction to recession impacts lunchtime eating
                                                                                                        • Rapidly changing commodity prices provide added strain for restaurants
                                                                                                          • What this means for restaurants
                                                                                                            • Figure 5: Producer Price Index, key farm products, January 2004-November 2008
                                                                                                          • All aboard the CPI rollercoaster!
                                                                                                              • Figure 6: Consumer Price Index, key consumer items, January 2004-November 2008
                                                                                                            • Consumer debt overload
                                                                                                              • Figure 7: Consumer credit outstanding, dollar change, 2007-08
                                                                                                              • Figure 8: Consumer credit outstanding, percentage change, 2007-08
                                                                                                            • Falling home values and equity values create negative spending outlooks
                                                                                                                • Figure 9: S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, January 2004-October 2008
                                                                                                              • Lunch quick!
                                                                                                                • Figure 10: Average time for lunch break, Steelcase Workplace Study, 1996 and 2005
                                                                                                              • Influence of time deprivation on lunch choices
                                                                                                                  • Figure 11: Time allotted for lunch on weekdays, November 2008
                                                                                                                • The stay-at-home factor
                                                                                                                  • Retirees
                                                                                                                      • Figure 12: Population, by age, 2003-13
                                                                                                                    • Work from home
                                                                                                                      • Stay-at-home parents
                                                                                                                          • Figure 13: Weekday foodservice net lunch usage, by presence of children, by foodservice type, November 2008
                                                                                                                      • Restaurant Analysis: Wendy’s

                                                                                                                          • Refocusing the brand
                                                                                                                            • Moving forward by merging
                                                                                                                              • Figure 14: Usage for Wendy’s, by income, July 2007-September 2008
                                                                                                                            • Lengthening lunch
                                                                                                                            • Restaurant Analysis: Jason’s Deli

                                                                                                                                • Taking the healthy road
                                                                                                                                  • Keeping it “Real”
                                                                                                                                    • Maximizing the lunch daypart
                                                                                                                                      • As others scale back, Jason’s Deli plans for growth
                                                                                                                                      • Restaurant Analysis: Applebee’s

                                                                                                                                          • Diverse appeal
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 15: Usage for Applebee’s, by age, July 2007-September 2008
                                                                                                                                          • Refocus on a “new neighborhood”
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 16: Applebee’s television ad, Together is Good, October 2007
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 17: Usage for Applebee’s, by income, July 2007-September 2008
                                                                                                                                            • Poor economy wreaks havoc with intended franchise plan
                                                                                                                                            • Restaurant Brand Qualities: Olive Garden Case Study

                                                                                                                                                • Sales performance
                                                                                                                                                  • The emotional connection: family
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Usage for Olive Garden, by gender, July 2007-September 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Olive Garden television ad, Family Traditions, July 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Gourmet at a value price
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Usage for Olive Garden, by income, July 2007-September 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Olive Garden television ad, Chef School, May 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Authentic and “fresh” oriented menu
                                                                                                                                                    • Bottom line: Strong brand equals continued growth
                                                                                                                                                    • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                                                                      • The value proposition
                                                                                                                                                        • QSR: the Dollar Menu
                                                                                                                                                          • Fast Casual: the $5 phenomenon
                                                                                                                                                            • Casual Dining: Limitless meals; mini-size offerings; mix/match options
                                                                                                                                                              • These days, nutrition really is “on” the menu
                                                                                                                                                                • Regulating health on the menu hits the mainstream
                                                                                                                                                                  • A national standard?
                                                                                                                                                                    • What the future holds
                                                                                                                                                                      • Enhancing speed and convenience using technology
                                                                                                                                                                        • Increasing speed on-site
                                                                                                                                                                          • Online ordering convenience
                                                                                                                                                                            • Marketing claims
                                                                                                                                                                              • The fresh factor
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Top marketing claims in lunch menu items, full-service restaurants, Q2 2007-Q3 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                              • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Media expenditures for leading lunchtime chains, by foodservice type, 2006 and 2007
                                                                                                                                                                                • Promoting the value
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Adspend increases for full-service value deals
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Applebee’s television ad, Crushing Fast Food, September 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Olive Garden television ad, Sharing Lunch, May 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Red Lobster television ad, What’s for Lunch?, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Quick service providing the “economical” answer
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Burger King television ad, Reverse Pickpocketer, September 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Jack in the Box television ad, Jack and the President, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Sonic television ad, Inflation, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lunchtime Usage and Mean Use by Location

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Weekday lunchtime usage: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Weekday lunchtime usage, usage frequency, and mean use, by location, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Weekend lunchtime usage: An overview
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Weekend lunchtime usage, usage frequency, and mean use, by location, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Weekday lunchtime usage: in-depth
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Made/packed lunch at home and ate lunch at home
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Weekday lunchtime usage, usage frequency, and mean use, made and ate at home, by gender and age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Made/packed lunch at home that you ate outside of the home
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Weekday lunchtime usage, usage frequency, and mean use, made at home/ate out, by HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Got lunch from a restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Weekday lunchtime usage, usage frequency, and mean use, got at restaurant, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Skipped lunch
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Weekday lunchtime usage, usage frequency, and mean use, skipped lunch, by HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Weekend lunchtime usage: in-depth
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Made/packed lunch at home and ate lunch at home
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Got lunch from a restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Weekend lunchtime usage, usage frequency, and mean use, got at restaurant, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Skipped lunch
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Weekend lunchtime usage, usage frequency, and mean use, skipped lunch, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lunch Usage and Mean Use by Foodservice Type

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Weekday foodservice lunch, by foodservice type: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Weekday foodservice lunch usage, usage frequency, and mean use, by foodservice type, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Weekend foodservice lunch, by foodservice type: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Weekend foodservice lunch usage, usage frequency, and mean use, by foodservice type, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Weekday foodservice lunch, by foodservice type: in-depth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Weekday foodservice lunch usage and mean use, by selected foodservice type, by gender, age and HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Weekend foodservice lunch, by foodservice type: in-depth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Weekend foodservice lunch usage and mean use, by selected foodservice type, by gender, age and HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lunchtime Restaurant Usage, By Procurement Method

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Weekday restaurant lunch, by procurement method
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Weekday restaurant usage, usage frequency, and mean use, by procurement method, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Weekday restaurant usage, usage frequency, and mean use, by procurement method, by gender, age and HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Weekend restaurant lunch, by procurement method
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Weekend restaurant usage, usage frequency, and mean use, by procurement method, by gender, age and HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Time, Employment and Commute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Work and travel time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Time spent commuting to work/school and time spent there, by weekday and weekend, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Weekday work and travel time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Mean weekday time spent (in minutes) commuting to work/school and time spent there, by gender, age and HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Time spent for lunch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Time alloted for lunch and mean use, by weekday versus weekend, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Time spent for lunch during the week
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Time alloted for lunch and mean use on weekdays, by gender, age, HH income and employment status, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Time spent for lunch on weekends
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Time alloted for lunch and mean use on weekends, by gender, age, HH income and presence of children, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Time perceptions impact attitudes toward lunch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Time influences lunch attitudes, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Dining Outside the Home: Lunchtime Nutritional Influencers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lunchtime nutritional influencers: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Lunchtime nutritional influencers, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lunchtime nutritional influencers: in-depth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Lunchtime nutritional influencers, by gender, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Lunchtime nutritional influencers, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Foodservice Food Quality and Variety

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Food quality and variety: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Foodservice food quality and variety, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Food quality and variety: in-depth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Foodservice food quality and variety, by gender, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lunchtime Restaurant Preferences

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lunchtime restaurant preferences: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Lunchtime restaurant preferences, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lunchtime restaurant preferences: in-depth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Lunchtime restaurant preferences, by gender, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Lunchtime restaurant preferences, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Custom Groups: The Employment Factor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Weekday lunchtime usage and mean usage, by location
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Weekday lunchtime usage and mean use, by location, by employment status, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lunchtime restaurant preferences
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Lunchtime restaurnt preferences, by employment status, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Packers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Pickers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Power Lunchers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Lunchtime eating clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Weekday lunchtime usage, by lunchtime eating clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Weekend lunchtime usage, by lunchtime eating clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Lunch, work/school, and commuting time, by lunchtime eating clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Lunch, work/school, and commuting time, by lunchtime eating clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Lunchtime nutritional influencers, by lunchtime eating clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Lunchtime restaurant preferences, by lunchtime eating clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Foodservice food quality and variety, by lunchtime eating clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Lunchtime eating clusters, by gender, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Lunchtime eating clusters, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: Lunchtime eating clusters, by household income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Lunchtime eating clusters, by race, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Lunchtime eating clusters, by Hispanic origin, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Weekday foodservice lunch, by foodservice type
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Weekday foodservice lunch usage and mean use, by selected foodservice type, by gender, age and HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Weekend foodservice lunch, by foodservice type
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Weekend foodservice lunch usage and mean use, by selected foodservice type, by gender, age and HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lunchtime nutritional influencers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Foodservice food quality and variety, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Amazon North America
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Applebee's International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Arby's Restaurant Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Association for Convenience and Petroleum Retailing (NACS)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bob Evans Farms Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Boston Market Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Brinker International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Burger King Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Café Express
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Darden Restaurants Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Denny's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • DineEquity Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Dunkin' Brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Federal Reserve System
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Food Distributors International
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Food Marketing Institute
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Food Products Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Golden Corral Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • International Franchise Association (IFA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • International Hotel and Restaurants Association (IH&RA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • KFC Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • National Nutritional Foods Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • National Restaurant Association (NRA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Natural Products Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Organic Trade Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Panera Bread Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Papa John's International, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Pizza Hut Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ruby Tuesday Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sonic Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Subway
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Taco Bell Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • The Quiznos Master LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • The Wendy's Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Tim Hortons (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Vegetarian Resource Group, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Virgin America
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Weight Watchers International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Zaxby's Franchising, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lunchtime Eating - US - February 2009

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