Foodservice

Catering to On-the-Go Consumers

Tips for offering convenient handheld snacks

On-the-go lifestyles are nothing new—consumers have been purchasing and eating portable, convenient snacks for years. What is new, however, is the number of options and flavors they can choose from when picking a quick snack or meal.

Van's Kitchen egg rolls

While new and exciting flavors are a welcome addition to product lineups—62% of consumers say they like trying new flavors of food from time to time, according to Technomic’s 2016 Generational Consumer Trend Report, powered by Ignite—classic flavors that consumers know and love are also in high demand, especially when reinvented in new, portable food options.

Here are two ways to entice on-the-go consumers looking to snack.

Comfort foods take a new shape

The humble fast-food cheeseburger is satisfying, but it’s not necessarily the easiest food to eat on the go. Most consumers don’t want to risk a ketchup or mustard drip during their work or school days, so reformatting this classic meal into a roller-grill food item is perfect. Portable foods in familiar flavors are the ideal solution for busy consumers who don’t want to sacrifice a tasty meal but don’t have the time for a sit-down lunch or dinner. Among college students, available comfort food is a big traffic driver when they purchase food on or off campus—36% say it’s the most important thing they look for, according to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report.

Comfort foods can be reimagined into foods like buns, dumplings, wraps, roller-grill snacks and more. The roller-grill format lends itself well to a range of different flavors that mean consumers don’t have to hit the drive-thru or their local fast-casual hot spot for the foods they’re craving.

Trending snack flavors

At restaurants, Buffalo chicken sandwiches are one of the most popular chicken sandwiches on menus, so c-store operators can appeal to shoppers who only have a few minutes by offering portable versions of Buffalo chicken dishes.

Beyond Buffalo, Technomic’s 2017 Center of the Plate: Poultry Consumer Trend Report finds that 48% of consumers would be interested in trying chicken entrees with new or unique flavors, such as jerk chicken, Indian spices, or a wider variety of BBQ sauces, such as Korean BBQ.

Retailers can attract consumers who enjoy popular chain restaurants by featuring portable versions of dishes such as orange chicken or chicken tacos, as well.

By making familiar, favorite flavors more portable, consumers may be more likely to stop in for these foods. According to Technomic’s 2016 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report, 57% of consumers say that when choosing snacks, portability is important or extremely important, so to draw in those hungry consumers who don’t want to choose between convenience and taste, offering the flavors they love in a handheld format is an ideal solution.

This post is sponsored by Van’s Kitchen

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