In Our Fast-Paced World,
The demand for convenience is impacting most industries – including communications, retail, tourism, and of course, foodservice. As our recent All About Dining Out report showed, more than a third (35%) of consumers eat out to save time.
In fact, a recent report by Technomic shows that 85% of consumers decide what to eat the same day – a surprising number that has led to the widespread availability of convenient meal solutions. Drive-thrus, food trucks, meal kits and prepared foods at grocery stores are all seeing dramatic growth, because just about every generation and every dining segment craves convenience.
You’ve probably seen businesses profiting from convenient options yourself. The proliferation of food halls, fast casual restaurants, grab-and-go markets and even restaurants within retail is happening before our eyes, and it’s proof that consumers crave quality meals on-the-go. This is especially true for Gen Z. The Technomic report found Gen Z – which tends to prefer spending on experiences over consumer goods – already out-spends Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation on dining out, and 58% go online to find restaurant deals.
Typically, those looking for quick meal options are less concerned about health or being able to share menu items with their friends or family members. Burgers and nuggets often win in these occasions.
We know pork can play a prominent role as a convenient meal solution. Portable options like pork tenderloin skewers, ground pork burritos, pork nuggets/tenders and pulled pork sandwiches are natural fits and will win over consumers looking for a fast dinner option that’s also flavorful. Multicultural options and handhelds can also be a star.
Packers can help make pork a convenient go-to by preparing flexible, quick-to-cook options. We can replace the all-too-common burger and fries by offering more handheld choices, and we can make pizza night more exciting with topping choices like pulled pork or pork belly. These cuts and preparations need to meet the needs of c-stores and food halls. That may mean smaller cuts, pre-sauced packs or pre-cooked options.