In the midst of today’s climate, foodservice operators are evaluating every aspect of their business and menu. But whatever happens in the world around them, consumers remain conscious of what they eat and the effect food has on their health and the environment. This awareness will continue to influence their dining preferences and contribute to the demand for menu transparency and premium ingredients.
When it comes to poultry, “premium” can mean many things––preparation method, the choice of cut, and even product or menu claims that are of high value to consumers. Datassential conducted a consumer study, ONE TABLE, confirming that menu claims are still top-of-mind, even in the midst of current challenges––including loss of wages or job insecurity. Of those who initially said “Made in the USA” was an important attribute on the menu, seven in 10 consumers believe it’s still important. Other premium claims that remain relevant to consumers since the pandemic began include: “clean label,” “organic,” and “No Antibiotics Ever.”1
There’s power behind clearly communicating your premium menu claims. Consumers may be willing to pay more if they see the power of the value and quality of sourcing in the claims––and that it supports a cause they believe in.2 It turns out, for example, that 35 percent of consumers would pay more for antibiotic-free food.3
For these reasons, operators shouldn’t shy away from clearly communicating their premium story. Research suggests that most operators expect to be charged more for ingredients with premium, values-driven claims such as No Antibiotics Ever, clean label, industry-leading animal care, and “no animal byproducts/100 percent all-veggie-fed” claims—and would pass some of those costs on to guests via higher menu prices.4
Given that demand for high-quality meat and poultry is arguably the most noteworthy trend within the menu transparency movement, it’s important to clearly communicate the origin story of the proteins you source.
Two-thirds of consumers say they want to know more about where their food comes from.5 In the wake of COVID-19, outlining your food and other safety procedures has never been more important. Per Datassential research, 76 percent of consumers agree that “a restaurant’s cleanliness and food safety procedures will matter more to me.”5 Sharing these details on your website, mobile app, and social media—and in your restaurant signage—will elevate and differentiate your brand, fostering consumer trust.
As Food Safety Magazine reported earlier this summer, “the consumer is continuing to exert more influence on supply chain practices, demanding not just safer food but data as proof to support marketing claims like organic, clean, or locally sourced. This is expected to increase in importance as consumers, weary from the COVID-19 crisis, may become even more interested in transparency and building trust with the brands that they relied on to get them through challenging times. The very idea that brands and retailers would be willing to make more information available is building trust.”5
Set your brand apart with in-demand products that command a premium menu price and can help increase profits. Show your customers you care by clearly demonstrating menu transparency and the use of high-quality ingredients like No Antibiotics Ever proteins. Now’s the time to exceed your patrons’ expectations.
- ONE TABLE: Consumer Insights and the Path Forward, Datassential, May 2020
- Starr, Steve, “COVID-19, and the 4 New Paradigms of Guest Perception,” QSR magazine, May 2020
- TK (Datassential, October 2019)
- Perdue Poultry Claims Report Custom Study (Datassential, January 2020)
- Fernandez, Angela, “The Three Drivers of Food Traceability Changes in 2020,” Food Safety Management, June 2, 2020
- “COVID-19 Report 13: Money Matters,” (Datassential, April 16, 2020)