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Trends in Snacking and Value Menus in Foodservice - US - June 2012

Due to an increasingly on-the-go lifestyle and a tendency toward smaller, more frequent meals, snacking has become a part of consumers’ daily routines. Consumers have become less regimented in their consumption patterns and consume nearly any type of food at any time of day, causing the definition of “mealtime” to become blurry. Snacks can take the form of indulgent or healthy and can be fueled by impulse or the need for energy. This grab-and-go mode places value on convenience, speed, portability, and price. Restaurants are playing a larger role in the snack market as they adapt to the changing needs of their consumers, which has resulted in an increase in snack traffic.

This report explores snacking trends and opportunities within the foodservice space by understanding the current marketplace, revealing competitive developments, uncovering marketing techniques and innovative technologies that restaurant operators can utilize, viewing snack trends on restaurant menus, and featuring consumer behavior and attitudes as they relate to foodservice snacking.

Among the topics covered in this report are:

  • Innovative snacking trends that various restaurants are currently implementing
  • How emerging technology can be used in surprising ways to draw in snackers
  • The key marketplace issues concerning snacking and the impact they are making
  • The ins and outs of snacking from the consumers’ perspective, including behavior and attitudes
  • How light, medium, and heavy snack usage groups differ in restaurant preferences

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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
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                        • The market
                          • Figure 1: U.S. foodservice snack sales and fan chart forecast of market, at current prices, 2006-16
                        • Market factors
                          • Calorie disclosure legislation
                            • Obesity and diabetes
                              • Population
                                • Figure 2: Population, by age, 2010
                              • Menu strategies
                                • Snack strategies
                                  • Value pricing
                                    • Figure 3: Top 10 menu items priced between $1-1.99, Q1 2009-Q1 2012
                                  • The consumer
                                    • Usage and frequency
                                      • Figure 4: Restaurant snack usage and frequency, March 2012
                                    • Snack times
                                      • Figure 5: Snacking dayparts, March 2012
                                    • Consumer attitudes
                                      • Figure 6: Snacking drivers for food items, by usage, March 2012
                                    • What we think
                                    • Issues in the Market

                                        • What are the primary drivers behind snacking?
                                          • Who is snacking when, where, and how often?
                                            • Which items are restaurants offering that match consumer price points?
                                              • Are Baby Boomers ready for foodservice snacking?
                                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                                  • Repositioning items
                                                    • Rewards methods
                                                      • Facebook offers
                                                        • Facebook credits
                                                          • Gaming
                                                            • Mobile coupons
                                                              • Inverted deals
                                                                • Customer service optimization
                                                                  • Online ordering
                                                                    • Seating and payment
                                                                    • Inspire Insights

                                                                        • Trend: Transumers
                                                                          • Trend: Life—An Informal Affair
                                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Market size insight
                                                                                • Foodservice snacking sales and forecast of market
                                                                                  • Figure 7: Total U.S. foodservice snack sales and forecast of market, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                  • Figure 8: Total U.S. foodservice snack sales and forecast of market, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2006-16
                                                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                    • Figure 9: U.S. foodservice snack sales and fan chart forecast of market, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Restaurants looking forward to a strong sales year
                                                                                      • Rising commodity prices
                                                                                        • Government-mandated calorie disclosure
                                                                                          • High obesity and diabetes rates support snacking
                                                                                            • Figure 10: Rate of adult obesity, by age, 2010
                                                                                          • Younger consumers lead the snacking initiative
                                                                                              • Figure 11: Population, by age, 2010
                                                                                            • Disposable personal income expands
                                                                                                • Figure 12: Real disposable personal income, January 2007-April 2012
                                                                                              • Consumers cautiously optimistic
                                                                                                  • Figure 13: Consumer sentiment, March 2007-May 2012
                                                                                                • Unemployment inched up
                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Unemployment and underemployment rates, January 2007-May 2012
                                                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                                                  • Food trucks secure snack sales
                                                                                                    • Food trucks
                                                                                                      • Kiosks
                                                                                                        • Convenience stores
                                                                                                          • Prepackaged snacks
                                                                                                            • Grocery stores
                                                                                                              • Retail menu items
                                                                                                                • Co-branding snacks
                                                                                                                • Menu Analysis—Snack Strategies

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Quick Service Restaurants
                                                                                                                      • Fast Casual Restaurants & Coffeehouses
                                                                                                                        • Casual Dining Restaurants
                                                                                                                        • Menu Insights Analysis—Value Pricing

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Economy menu level (<$0.99)
                                                                                                                                • Figure 15: Top 10 menu items priced less than $0.99, Q1 2009-Q1 2012
                                                                                                                              • Dollar menu level ($1-1.99)
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 16: Top 10 menu items priced between $1-1.99, Q1 2009-Q1 2012
                                                                                                                                • Value menu level ($2-3.99)
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Top 10 menu items priced between $2-3.99, Q1 2009-Q1 2012
                                                                                                                                  • Extra value menu level ($4-5.99)
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Top 10 menu items priced between $4-5.99, Q1 2009-Q1 2012
                                                                                                                                  • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                                    • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                                                                                      • Television advertisements
                                                                                                                                        • Arby’s
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Arby’s television ad, 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Sonic
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Sonic television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Church’s Chicken
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Church’s Chicken television ad, 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Wendy’s
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Wendy’s television ad, 2012
                                                                                                                                        • McDonald’s
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: McDonald’s television ad, 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Bojangles
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Bojangles television ad, 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Mobile advertising
                                                                                                                                            • Burger King
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Burger King BK Alerts, April 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Dunkin’ Donuts
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Dunkin’ Donuts Sims campaign, August 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Sonic
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Sonic YouTube video, Feburary 2012
                                                                                                                                            • McDonald’s
                                                                                                                                              • Billboard advertising
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: McDonald’s beverage billboard, June 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Menu boards
                                                                                                                                              • Restaurant Usage and Snack Frequency

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Quick service restaurants lead snacking usage and frequency
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Restaurant snack usage and frequency, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                    • Men use restaurants for snacks more than women
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Restaurant snack usage, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Restaurant snack frequency, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                    • Choosing restaurants for snacks decreases with age
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Restaurant snack usage, by age, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Restaurant snack frequency, by age, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                    • Coffeehouse snacking increases with household income
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Restaurant snack usage, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Restaurant snack frequency, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                    • Snack Times Defined

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Snacking at restaurants typically occurs midday
                                                                                                                                                          • Women tend to snack earlier in the day while men snack later
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Snacking dayparts, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • Young consumers over index for late day snacking
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Snacking dayparts, by age, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Snacking Ordering Behavior

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Consumers usually order a combination of food and drink as a snack
                                                                                                                                                              • Men are more consistent than women in snack choices
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Snacking ordering behavior, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Younger consumers are more likely to order food snacks without a drink
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Snacking ordering behavior, by age, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Affluent consumers purchase beverage-only snacks more than others
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Snacking ordering behavior, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Snacking Spend

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • Consumers comfortable spending more on combos than single items
                                                                                                                                                                  • Men are willing to spend more on snack combos
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Consumer spending on restaurant snacks, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                  • Younger consumers typically spend more for their snacks
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Consumer spending on restaurant snacks, by age, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                  • Affluent consumers stick to the dollar menu
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Consumer spending on restaurant snacks, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                • Snacks Ordered at Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Dollar/value menu and appetizer menu are used most often for snacks
                                                                                                                                                                      • Women prefer dollar/value menu over men
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Snackable menu sections, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Dessert snacking popular for young consumers; drops off at age 45
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Snackable menu sections, by age, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • The affluent are less menu section specific when choosing snacks
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Snackable menu sections, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Portable items are in great demand for snack time
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Chicken McBites, January 24, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Men care more about packaging while women crave sweets
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Food snacks ordered at restaurants, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Soup and salad for seniors
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Food snacks ordered at restaurants, by age, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • “Sides & Snacks” menu sections
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Food snacks ordered at restaurants, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Low-priced drinks are popular; regular soda edges out diet
                                                                                                                                                                        • Men prefer regular soda and tea while women like diet soda and smoothies
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Beverage snacks ordered at restaurants, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                        • Older consumers prefer plain coffee
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Beverage snacks ordered at restaurants, by age, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                        • Regular soda may be a sign of financial constraints
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Beverage snacks ordered at restaurants, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Snacking Behavior Changes

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumers are seeking value and better health
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Changes in snacking behavior, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                          • Men and women increase coupon use
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Changes in snacking behavior, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                          • Younger consumers are interested in limited time offers
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Changes in snacking behavior, by age, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumers with incomes <$75K are using the value menu more
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Changes in snacking behavior, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                        • Snacking Drivers

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumers look for taste, value, and convenience in food snacks
                                                                                                                                                                              • Women apply more specific criteria to their snack decisions
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Snacking drivers for food items, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Young consumers want a variety of cravable options
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Snacking drivers for food items, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • The affluent desire BFY, calorie-controlled snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Snacking drivers for food items, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Women count calories when choosing a beverage snack
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Snacking drivers for beverage items, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Young consumers have strong beverage snack preferences
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Snacking drivers for beverage items, by age, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Beverage taste is more important to affluent consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Snacking drivers for beverage items, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes toward Snacking at Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                • Snackers are driven by hunger, treats, and their on-the-go lifestyles
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Men snack for energy while women snack from boredom
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Attitudes toward snacking at restaurants, by gender, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Rich snackers, poor snackers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Attitudes toward snacking at restaurants, by household income, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                • Light, Medium, Heavy, and Super Heavy Snackers

                                                                                                                                                                                    • The propensity to order healthy items increases with usage
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Food snacks ordered at restaurants, by usage, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Super heavy users order water more often than any other group
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Beverage snacks ordered at restaurants, by usage, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Super heavy users are comfortable spending $5-6.99 on combo snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Consumer spending on restaurant snacks, by usage, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Super heavy users find combo meals important in their snack decision
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Snacking drivers for food items, by usage, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Super heavy users have strong snacking attitudes
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Attitudes toward snacking at restaurants, by usage, March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Applebee's International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Bojangles Restaurants, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Burger King Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Caribou Coffee Company Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dunkin' Brands
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Flickr
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Logan's Roadhouse, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Panera Bread Company
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Taco Bell Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Wendy's Company
                                                                                                                                                                                    • YouTube, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Zynga

                                                                                                                                                                                    Trends in Snacking and Value Menus in Foodservice - US - June 2012

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