Marketing Trends In the Food Industry

Several factors drive innovation in the food industry.  Lately, it seems, food trucks, comfort, and authenticity are behind many of the changes seen in menus country wide.  During difficult economic times, innovations on the menu helps to raise customer return rates, but authenticity is necessary to retention.


Nancy Cruse, the president of The Kruse Co. and a columnist for Nation’s Restaurant News cites, “a distinct uplift in the amount of innovation as it pertains to menu development” as a result of the changing economic environment.  That innovation falls into three categories: the customers’ demand for authenticity, food trucks that generate rapid advances, and creative comfort that results in slower menu changes.


Comfort in Change


Creative comfort is a driving force behind the changes see in foods such as gourmet waffles or pretzel-based sandwiches.  A well known food is adapted to meet the need for change while still appealing to those who desire a familiar taste.  Examples include Dunkin’ Donuts’ Waffle breakfast sandwiches or the chicken and waffles dishes available at IHOP.


Trucking In Innovation


Food trucks, most of which offer quick, easy, and fun fare, have the advantage of bringing their menu directly to the market.  They also don’t have to make huge investments to try something new.  As a result, many food trucks are the source for the unexpected when it comes to innovation in food service.  It doesn’t take long for their successes to make it into more mainstream locations.


Authentic Flavor and Tradition


If it seems to you that everyone is suddenly offering things like hand cut fries, boasts their connections to local farmers, or cite family recipes, you are absolutely correct.  Provenance, preparation, and promotion are all part of the authenticity package.  Customers seek a connection to their food these days, and anything that smacks of authenticity, whether on the menu or in the marketing, helps attract and retain a customer base.


Keeping up with food industry trends involve more than just constantly revamping the menu, it requires an awareness of what customers want.

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