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CHICAGO -- Craveability is a major purchase driver for restaurants, with a whopping 83 percent of consumers citing cravings as a main reason they purchase food away from home, according to a new whitepaper from Technomic Inc., titled "Cultivating Craveability: Consumer Assessments of the Most Craveable Restaurant Chains."
Powered by data from Consumer Brand Metrics (CBM), which continuously tracks more than 80,000 annual consumer restaurant visits by U.S. and Canadian consumers at more than 115 leading restaurant chains, the whitepaper covers the importance of craveable items, the role of craveability in driving satisfaction and loyalty, and the chains that consumers say most excel at triggering and satisfying their cravings.
"Our CBM data reinforces that craveable menu items are a critical element of the menu mix," said Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic. "Craveable items promote impulse-driven occasions, can build a strong emotional connection with consumers and, in many cases, are the items that restaurants become known for. To cultivate craveability, operators must develop and refine unique signature items that have the power to transform guests into regulars. Some of these items might include comfort foods, memorable sides and sweet snacks."
Other highlights from the whitepaper include:
- Craveable items are associated with visit satisfaction. Three-fourths of consumers who said the chain they visited does a very good job at offering craveable items rated their last visit to that chain as excellent; one-fifth rated it as good. Ninety-eight percent of these consumers scored their visit in the top two box overall.
- Craveability plays a role in building customer loyalty. Ninety-five percent of consumers who rated a restaurant chain's craveable items as very good agreed that they will return to that restaurant in the near future. That compares to 87 percent of those who rated the items as good, and two-thirds or fewer of consumers who gave the chain lower ratings on craveability.
- Dessert and snack concepts are the best positioned of all quick-service restaurants to capitalize on consumers' cravings. Chains focused on these products dominate other quick-service retailers on this attribute and receive some of the highest ratings across all segments.
More than 115 restaurant chains are included in Technomic's Consumer Restaurant Brand Metrics online database, which lets operators track their performance against competitors on more than 60 different attributes regarding food, service, atmosphere, value, convenience, reputation and more. They can also analyze results by region, demographic group or designated market area.
Consumer feedback is based on ongoing data collection and compiled from a nationally representative sample of more than 80,000 annual consumer restaurant visits.