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Seasonal Dining Trends - US - January 2017

"Seasonal is a term with a clearly defined meaning associated with it; however, a more subjective and emotional aspect of seasonal is becoming equally important in foodservice. As restaurants continue to find a balance of how seasonal fits into their overall menu, consumers are paying closer attention to the details that go beyond the ingredients and flavors. From seasonal presentation to the influence of season-less ingredients, the definition of seasonal is far from static."

- Diana Kelter, Foodservice Analyst

This report will cover the following areas:

  • The fine dining gap
  • A higher seasonal expectation

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following restaurant definitions:

  • QSRs (quick service restaurants) – Used interchangeably with “fast food,” QSRs specialize in inexpensive, convenient meals. There is no waiter service, and no alcoholic beverages. Examples include: McDonald’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Pizza Hut.
  • Fast casual restaurants – These establishments are characterized by a higher price point than QSRs though not as high as full service restaurants. Fast casuals may or may not offer table service and may or may not serve alcohol. Examples include: Chipotle, Panera Bread, Shake Shack, and Blaze Pizza.
  • LSRs (limited service restaurants) – These establishments provide food services where customers usually select and order items and pay before dining. Food/drink may be consumed on the premises, offered as carryout, or delivered to the customer’s location. These may also sell alcoholic beverages. LSRs include both QSRs and fast casual restaurants. The other category within LSRs (as seen in the market size and forecast) includes snacks and non-alcoholic beverage bars, cafeterias, grills, and grill buffets.
  • FSRs (full service restaurants) – These establishments have waiter/waitress service in which customers order and are served while seated. These may also sell alcoholic beverages and offer carryout services and include the restaurant segments: midscale, casual dining, and fine dining.
  • MMI (Mintel Menu Insights) - MMI is a quarterly census of restaurant brands covering all commercial segments and US census regions/divisions, with trends going back to Q2 2004. MMI tracks more than 30 unique menu item attributes including flavor, preparation (physical and/or cooking), menu type/section, cuisine type, menu claims, etc., grouped into six major categories from macro restaurant, menu, plate, item dish, and beverage to micro ingredient detail.
  • MMI Legacy Data – This data is reflective of the historic MMI database prior to any expansion data being incorporated. This data can be trended back to 2004 and is representative of 580 restaurants and 3,000 menus.
  • MMI Expansion Data - This data is reflective of the MMI expansion that increased restaurant coverage from 580 to 1,500 and increased menu collection from 3,000 to 8,000. The expansion data incorporates expanded c-store coverage, including data for hot food, cold prepacked food, breakfast menus, and all self-serve beverage options. Expansion data is not trendable prior to Q1 2015.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • The fine dining gap
            • Figure 1: Dining out visitation, fine dining, by generations, October 2016
          • A higher seasonal expectation
            • Figure 2: Seasonal statement agreement, by location, October 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Nostalgia hits a sweet spot
              • Figure 3: Seasonal associations, by age and income, October 2016
            • iGens show their own seasonal preferences
              • Figure 4: Interest in savory seasonal menu dishes, by generation, October 2016
            • Women show a more emotional perspective towards seasonal
              • Figure 5: Seasonal associations, by gender, October 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Presentation matters
                • The impact from natural
                  • Retail pushes forward competition
                  • Market Factors

                    • The natural movement
                      • Figure 6: Number of menu mentions for ingredient claims. Q3 2015-16
                    • Social media drives seasonal influence
                      • Figure 7: Social media usage, at least daily, by gender and age, December 2016
                    • Seasonal packaging
                    • Market Perspective

                      • Seasonal retail trends fall into two buckets
                        • Figure 8: Percentage of Food and drink items with a seasonal claim, 2011-16*
                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                      • Pumpkin Spice Lattes are sticking around
                        • Any dish can be seasonal
                          • A seasonal pop-up
                          • What’s Working?

                            • Sip, stir and enjoy: A taste for seasonal beverages
                              • Nostalgia with a dash of innovation
                              • What’s Struggling?

                                • Artificial flavors
                                • What’s Next?

                                  • The “everyday” seasonal
                                    • The seasonal pop-up experience
                                      • International seasonal trends
                                      • MMI Seasonal Data

                                        • Seasonal menu claims versus ingredient claims
                                          • Figure 9: Seasonal ingredient claims versus seasonal menu item claims, Q1 2015 – Q4 2015
                                        • Classic seasonal beverages become less seasonal
                                          • Figure 10: Number of Rose Menu Mentions, Q1 2014 – Q1 2016
                                          • Figure 11: Number of Hard Cider and Fruit Beer Menu Mentions, Q3 2015– Q3 2016
                                        • Seasonal limited time menu items
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • Consumers crave seasonal coffee drinks
                                            • A seasonal balance of indulgence and health
                                              • An earthy fall
                                              • A Look Into Dining Out Segments

                                                • Convenience versus experience
                                                  • Figure 12: Dining out visitation, October 2016
                                                • Must love coffee and snacks: A Millennial trend
                                                  • Figure 13: Dining out visitation, by Millennials, October 2016
                                                  • Figure 14: Dining out visitation, by Hispanics and Millennials, October 2016
                                                • Dining out with the entire family
                                                  • Figure 15: Dining out visitation, by parents and nonparents, October 2016
                                                • A sophisticated approach to seasonal
                                                  • Figure 16: Dining out visitation, fine dining, by generations, October 2016
                                              • Interest in Seasonal Dishes

                                                • A sweet and healthy seasonal spectrum
                                                  • Figure 17: Interest in seasonal menu dishes, October 2016
                                                • iGens are carving their own seasonal preferences
                                                  • Figure 18: Interest in savory seasonal menu dishes, by generation, October 2016
                                                  • Figure 19: Interest in sweet seasonal menu dishes, by generation, October 2016
                                                • Hispanic Millennials have a seasonal sweet tooth
                                                  • Figure 20: Interest in sweet seasonal menu dishes, by Hispanic Millennials and Non-Hispanic Millennials, October 2016
                                                • Men favor indulgence, while women lean towards variety
                                                  • Figure 21: Interest in seasonal menu dishes, by male and female, October 2016
                                              • Seasonal Dish Association

                                                • Sweet comfort
                                                  • Figure 22: Seasonal dessert association, October 2016
                                                  • Figure 23: Seasonal dish association, October 2016
                                              • Seasonal Word Association

                                                • The emotional and direct seasonal association
                                                  • Figure 24: Seasonal associations, October 2016
                                                • Women maintain stronger emotional ties to seasonal
                                                  • Figure 25: Seasonal associations, by gender, October 2016
                                                • Nostalgia never fades
                                                  • Figure 26: Seasonal associations, by age and HH income, October 2016
                                                  • Figure 27: Seasonal associations, by age and HH income, October 2016
                                              • Seasonal Non-Alcoholic Beverages

                                                • Coffee reigns supreme in seasonal beverage interest
                                                  • Figure 28: Seasonal non-alcoholic beverage preferences, October 2016
                                                  • Figure 29: Seasonal coffee drink preferences, by age, October 2016
                                                • Men show interest towards seasonal soft drinks
                                                  • Figure 30: Seasonal beverage preferences, by gender, October 2016
                                              • Seasonal Alcoholic Beverages

                                                • Beer leads in seasonal alcohol preferences
                                                  • Figure 31: Seasonal alcoholic beverage preferences, October 2016
                                                • Millennials lead in seasonal alcohol preferences
                                                  • Figure 32: Seasonal alcoholic beverage preference, any alcohol, by generation, October 2016
                                                • Women prefer cocktails, men prefer beer
                                                  • Figure 33: Seasonal alcoholic beverage preference, by gender, October 2016
                                                • Seasonal food and alcohol pairings
                                                  • Figure 34: Seasonal alcoholic beverage preference, by HH income, October 2016
                                              • Seasonal Attributes – Correspondence Analysis

                                                  • Fall and winter
                                                      • Figure 35: Correspondence Analysis –Seasonal characteristics by season, October 2016
                                                    • Spring and summer
                                                      • The season-less combo
                                                        • Seasonal attribute differences by gender
                                                          • Figure 36: Fall seasonal attributes, by gender, October 2016
                                                          • Figure 37: Winter seasonal attributes, by gender, October 2016
                                                          • Figure 38: Spring seasonal attributes, by gender, October 2016
                                                          • Figure 39: Summer seasonal attributes, by gender, October 2016
                                                      • Seasonal Attitudes

                                                        • A seasonal treat
                                                          • Figure 40: Seasonal statement agreement, October 2016
                                                        • Urban consumers value the seasonal experience
                                                          • Figure 41: Seasonal statement agreement, by location, October 2016
                                                        • Women enjoy seasonal dishes from varied perspectives
                                                          • Figure 42: Seasonal statement agreement, by gender, October 2016
                                                        • The Millennial parent equation
                                                          • Figure 43: Statement agreement, “I’m willing to pay more for seasonal dishes,” by generation and parents versus nonparents, October 2016
                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                        • Data sources
                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                • Appendix – Correspondence Analysis

                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                    • Figure 44: Seasonal characteristics by season, October 2016

                                                                Seasonal Dining Trends - US - January 2017

                                                                US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)