“Satisfying a craving isn’t just a once-in-a-while event,” says Robert Byrne, senior manager of consumer insights for Technomic. “Three-quarters of consumers tell us that this urge drives foodservice visits once a month or more, making it one of the most frequently cited consumer need states. Offering craveable fare is simply not optional for c-stores that want to compete with QSRs for share of stomach—it is imperative.” 

Nearly 80% of consumers say the primary reason they stop at a foodservice location is to satisfy a craving. Yet, traditional means, such as signage and advertisements, aren’t what get most consumers going. More than one-fifth of consumers (22%) say that samples trigger their cravings, and three in 10 consumers (31%) say the appearance of a food item can set off their cravings. However, smell is the No. 1 craving spark for consumers, which is a strong case for prepping food on-site.

What typically triggers your cravings?

Source: Technomic Consumer Brand Metrics
Base: 1,002 consumers, 18 and up; up to three answers allowed