Consumers evolved eating habits and generational dynamics are changing the way consumers look at snacking throughout the day. Snacking is taking on a new dimension in the fast casual & quick service industries. Operators are taking notice to this new opportunity as they are now offering items or specials to meet that snacking demand.
One of the Top 10 Beverage Trends lists “Snacking on beverages” as number two. This specifically points out smoothies which has grown 13 percent over the past three year. “Beverages have become the new snack. Portability and convenience are a big part of the reason,” reports Kathy Hayden, Foodservice analyst with Mintel.
Quick service operators are working hard to attract snackers, especially those seeking healthy snacks to suit their active lifestyles.
According to the National Restaurant Associations 2014 Restaurant Industry Forecast, consumers are paying more attention to healthy menu items. Seventy-two percent of consumers say they are more likely to visit a restaurant with healthy items on the menu.
Millennials often perceive dining as eating small portions and sharing food throughout the day. They look for ways to satisfy their in-between-meals with a wide range of foods. “Snacks have become a much bigger part of the restaurant mix. So much of the restaurant experience is about a treat, rewards and celebrations,” says Paul Pendola, senior foodservice analyst for market research firm Mintel.
With the growing demand of eating and drinking healthier products including the snacking segment, smoothies are playing a larger role in providing the healthier and better for you option consumers are looking for.