Convenience Store News

NOV 2016

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Category Trends + Insights from FOODSERVICE the situation. A pricing analysis done by NPD Group found that the "sweet spot" price point — at which con- sumers are most satisfied and most likely to visit — is when they feel it is "affordable to eat there often" and a "good value for the money." Average lunch eater checks in the quarter end- ing June 2016, which at some restaurant segments increased by as much as 5 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago, have moved upward beyond consumers' "sweet spot" price, thus diminishing cus- tomer satisfaction and their intent to visit. The average eater check at quick-service retail foodservice increased by 4 percent to an average check of $4.69 in the quar- ter ending June 2016. Traditional QSRs, influenced by recent deal activity, saw lunch eater checks increase by 3 percent in the quarter to $6.40. There has been aggressive dealing, like combo and value meal offerings at quick-service hamburger restaurants, and this dealing has prevented steeper lunch visit declines. However, NPD foodservice mar- ket research shows that only about a fourth of lunch customers took advantage of the deals. When deal traffic is removed from the lunch check, consumers are paying, on average, $8 for lunch, which is higher than most want to pay for a quick-service lunch. Simply said: Who can afford to go out for lunch on a regular basis when checks have risen for some as much as they have recently? Historically, foodservice lunch has been the occasion where consumers didn't want to invest a lot of time, money or energy into this meal. It's apparent by the drop in lunch traffic that the current value proposition isn't meeting these needs. CSN

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