Operators use LTOs to Spice up Sales

Operators use LTOs to Spice up Sales

Season up for profits
Roughly one-third of consumers saying their preferences change with the season, which in the fight for the all-might foodservice dollar, is changing the way foodservice operators innovate. Everything from salads to sandwiches and snacks to beverages are getting the “seasonal treatment” across all segments of the foodservice landscape. While this push for innovative seasonal menu items can mean a bump in traffic and revenue, it also puts a strain on the testing and innovation cycle for larger chains, giving smaller independents an advantage when it comes to satisfying consumers desire for season-based offerings. Millennials and women are the driving force behind and decision makers when it comes to purchasing seasonal items.

Like with most things related to the all-important force that is the Millennial Generation, time is of the essence. Their purchasing power and prowess for all things distinctive are central to their dining out decisions. Fifty percent state that Limited-Time Offers (LTO’s) are essential in their dining choices, with Gen Z following closely behind. While LTO’s may drive their decisions, they are also willing to pay premium for seasonally based LTO’s – with 69% of millennials are willing to pay more for these items.

Women as decision makers or influencers on dining out decisions is well documented and keenly influenced by occasion and lifecycle. Now, with the farm to table movement and desire for fresh ingredients, seasonal menu items weigh into the decision-making process along with dining occasion and lifecycle. Over forty percent of women aged 25-54 say their preferences for food and beverages change with the season. Creating a new dynamic for operators to find seasonal items that appeal to women of all ages.

Operators, from all segments, who focus the innovation pipeline around seasonal menu items each quarter or season are seeing an impact on their business with twenty-four percent saying seasonal items have large impact on their business according to Technomic, Inc. Operators looking for new ways to differentiate themselves, need to evaluate their innovation process and accommodate consumers love affair with seasonal offerings.

Source: Technomic, Inc.

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