Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

US Seasonal Dining Trends Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Seasonal Dining Trends market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key points included

  • Americans want to veg out
  • Retail appeals to seasonal food lovers
  • Farmers markets experience high growth across the country

Covered in this report

This report will examine consumer attitudes toward seasonal flavor and ingredient trends across dining out segments. It will investigate seasonal components within dishes and beverages and will view from personal associations to traditional availability. The report will also highlight seasonal purchase preferences from a foodservice and retail perspective; however, the core focus of the report will be foodservice. This report builds upon Seasonal Dining Trends – US, January 2018 and January 2017

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Hannah Spencer, a leading analyst in the Foodservice sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Seasonal menu items continue to be a key opportunity for operators to appeal to diners’ interest in trying something new. While seasonal beverage menu items remain of high interest, diners are not buying as wide of a variety of seasonal foods from restaurants compared to retail. Operators should market seasonal items on menus and social media to encourage trial and purchasing by cross-generational diners Hannah Spencer
Foodservice Analyst

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • The majority of consumers have purchased a seasonal menu item in the past year
            • Figure 1: Seasonal item purchase location – Nets, April 2019
          • While foodservice is a top purchase location, retail shoppers purchase a wider variety of seasonal items
            • Figure 2: Seasonal item purchase, by type & location, April 2019
          • The opportunities
            • Utilize point-of-service and social media to market seasonal menu items
              • Figure 3: Seasonal menu item purchase behaviors, by generation, April 2019
            • Attract diners with in-season produce
              • Figure 4: Seasonal food interest, April 2019
            • Seasonal alcoholic beverages appeal to Millennials
              • Figure 5: Seasonal beverage interest, by generation, April 2019
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Retail appeals to seasonal food lovers
                • Farmers markets experience high growth across the country
                  • Americans want to veg out
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Retail represents strong competition for seasonal food purchases
                      • Figure 6: Seasonal item purchase by type & location – Beverages, April 2019
                      • Figure 7: Seasonal item purchase by type & location – Foods, April 2019
                      • Figure 8: Giant Eagle’s Pumpkin Spice Salad
                      • Figure 9: Urban Remedy’s Autumn Salad
                    • The rise of local farmers markets in the US
                      • Figure 10: National count of farmers market directory listings
                  • Market Factors

                    • Americans seek out more plant-based foods
                      • US tariffs could put tomatoes out of season
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • Chefs bring the farm to customers’ forks
                          • Pumpkin spice slows down
                            • A seasonal twist brings new life to classic cocktails
                            • What’s Working?

                              • Chefs buy local
                                • Figure 11: Sweetgreen: open source: where do cranberries come from? 12/5/18
                              • Restaurant brands find inspiration around the campfire
                                • Figure 12: Starbucks S’mores Frappuccino April 23, 2019 Instagram post
                            • What’s Struggling?

                              • Has pumpkin spice peaked?
                              • What’s Next?

                                • Seasonal bar menus go back to the basics
                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                  • Foodservice is the top seasonal food and drink destination
                                    • Retail represents strong competition for seasonal food purchases
                                      • Diners want more seasonal produce on menus
                                        • Incorporate seasonal fruit flavors beyond citrus for beverages
                                          • Promote seasonal menu items on menus and social media to appeal to diners of all ages
                                          • Seasonal Item Purchase Location

                                            • More than half of consumers have purchased a seasonal item from a foodservice location
                                              • Figure 13: Seasonal item purchase location – Nets, April 2019
                                            • Coffee shops are the most popular location for foodservice seasonal purchases
                                              • Figure 14: Seasonal item purchase location, April 2019
                                            • Generations differ in seasonal foodservice purchasing, but not at retail
                                              • Figure 15: Seasonal item purchase location – Nets, by generation, April 2019
                                            • Appeal to adventurous eaters with seasonal items
                                              • Figure 16: Seasonal item purchase location, by food & drink segmentation, April 2019
                                            • Hispanic consumers are more likely to purchase seasonal menu items
                                              • Figure 17: Seasonal item purchase location – Nets, by race & Hispanic origin, April 2019
                                          • Seasonal Item Purchase by Type & Location

                                            • Retail purchasing is high across seasonal food categories
                                              • Figure 18: Seasonal item purchase by type & location – Food, April 2019
                                            • Foodservice maintains its edge for seasonal beverage purchasing
                                              • Figure 19: Seasonal item purchase, by type & location – Beverages, April 2019
                                            • Seasonal coffee beverages have widespread appeal
                                              • Figure 20: Seasonal coffee beverage purchase, by location & age, April 2019
                                            • Seasonal tea beverages appeal to younger customers
                                              • Figure 21: Seasonal tea beverage purchase, by location & age, April 2019
                                            • More than half of men purchase seasonal beer from restaurants
                                              • Figure 22: Seasonal beer purchase, by location & gender, April 2019
                                          • Seasonal Menu Item Purchase Behavior

                                            • Seasonal menu items allow customers to treat themselves and celebrate
                                              • Figure 23: Seasonal menu item purchase behaviors, April 2019
                                            • Older consumers are more motivated by indulgence and tradition
                                              • Figure 24: Seasonal menu item purchase behaviors, by gender & age, April 2019
                                            • Millennials associate seasonal produce with sustainability
                                              • Figure 25: Seasonal menu item purchase behaviors, by generation, April 2019
                                            • Promote seasonal menu items to younger consumers via social media
                                              • Figure 26: Seasonal menu item purchase behaviors, by generation, April 2019
                                          • Seasonal Menu Item Associations by Season

                                            • Diners associate fun with summer and holidays with winter
                                              • Figure 27: McDonald’s Shamrock Shake social media data, February 1-28, 2019
                                              • Figure 28: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – Seasonal menu item associations by season, April 2019
                                              • Figure 29: Seasonal menu item associations by season, April 2019
                                            • Baby Boomers have strong associations with summer menu items
                                              • Figure 30: Summer seasonal menu item associations, by generation, April 2019
                                          • Seasonal Food Interest

                                            • Diners want more seasonal produce on menus
                                              • Figure 31: Seasonal food interest, April 2019
                                            • Women are most interested in seasonal indulgence
                                              • Figure 32: Seasonal food interest, by gender, April 2019
                                            • Appeal to Baby Boomers with seasonal fruit and veggie-centric menu items
                                              • Figure 33: Seasonal food interest, by generation, April 2019
                                          • Seasonal Beverage Interest

                                            • Seasonal diners desire more decadent drinks on menus
                                              • Figure 34: Seasonal beverage interest, April 2019
                                            • Millennials are most interested in seasonal alcohol offerings
                                              • Figure 35: Seasonal beverage interest, by generation, April 2019
                                          • Seasonal Flavor Interest

                                            • Three fourths of diners want more seasonal fruit flavors
                                              • Figure 36: Seasonal flavor interest, April 2019
                                            • Floral flavors attract Millennials
                                              • Figure 37: Seasonal flavor interest, by generation, April 2019
                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                            • Data sources
                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                • Direct marketing creative
                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                      • Terms
                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                          • Figure 38: Population, by generation, 2013-23
                                                        • Correspondence analysis methodology