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The Explosion of Consumer Choice Series: Evolving Consumer Culture

The Explosion of Consumer Choice Series: Evolving Consumer Culture

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Last Published: 12/22/2017

The Explosion of Consumer Choice Series: Evolving Consumer Culture

Today’s consumers are adventurous diners and more reliant on foodservice for their meals than ever before. 

This is changing how they use foodservice. They are turning to foodservice not just for a night out, but to help balance their busy lives and to try new, innovative dishes that they may not have the time or skill to prepare at home.

Over the past ten years, the foodservice industry has seen tremendous shifts and one of the most important has been the explosion of consumer choice. New players — including food trucks, retail meal solutions and meal kits — have emerged on the scene, providing consumers with more options than ever before and fundamentally changing the foodservice landscape. It’s vital for operators to understand these new options, how this explosion of consumer choice is impacting the industry and what it means for their brand.

With each new generation, reliance on foodservice has grown due to shifts in household composition, employment and other factors. For example, the rise of dual-income households means working parents have less time to prepare meals from scratch. Today, there are also more single-parent households as well as people living alone. For many years, dining out was considered an indulgent treat. Today, a restaurant visit might be for the sake of convenience. Consumers now have busier lives that often require them to turn to foodservice to help meet their daily responsibilities.

At the same time, today’s consumers are more ethnically diverse than ever before and the diversity of our population is ever increasing. This change in demographics has created an expanding demand for variety in food and beverage offerings. New operators that specialize in cross-cultural and ethnic cuisines will flourish and existing operators must adjust their menus in order to stay competitive.

To be successful, operators need to keep pace with how consumers are evolving, and adapt menus and marketing strategies accordingly.

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