Three Data-Backed Concepts Prove Pork’s Place in Convenience

As we’ve seen through our in-depth look at dining out, convenience reigns for consumers. While taste will always heavily influence dining-out decisions, people are often in a hurry and want something simple they can eat on the go.

To see how pork can fit into these occasions, we partnered with our food-industry market research friends over at Datassential. They gauged consumers’ reactions to images and descriptions of three convenient pork dishes, including:

  • Crispy Pork Tenderloin Biscuit
  • Crispy Pork Tenders
  • Grilled Pork Sliders

Here’s what we found:

crispy pork tenderloin biscuit
Buttermilk breaded and fried pork tenderloin on a honey-butter biscuit.

Results

The Crispy Pork Tenderloin Biscuit generated incredible results, outscoring 97% of all other dishes tested, and 98% of other sandwiches tested for draw. The dish also outscored 95% of all other dishes for frequency and 90% of other dishes for unbranded purchase intent. Despite this simple prep for, the dish outscored 81% of other sandwiches for uniqueness.

Key Takeaways

Those of us who have spent time in the upper Midwest know all about the majesty that is a pork tenderloin sandwich, and frankly, we’re surprised it hasn’t caught on beyond our favorite local diner or fair. While the chicken chains cluck on about who has the best chicken sandwich, this tasty pork loin creation – which can be served across all dayparts – will pleasantly surprise operators and diners alike. The data proves that when it comes to sandwiches, pork won’t having diners crying foul.

panko crusted pork loin strips
Panko-crusted pork loin strips, fried and served with dipping sauces such as BBQ, sweet and sour, honey mustard and ranch.

Results

Although it’s a rather simple concept, the Crispy Pork Tenders managed to outscore 88% of all other dishes for uniqueness and 81% for unbranded purchase intent. They also outscored 73% of other dishes for draw and frequency.

Key Takeaways

Crispy pork tenders fit the bill from a craveable, grab-and-go C-store staple, to a unique food-truck find, to a fast-casual LTO. They’re an interesting twist on the tenders everyone is used to and may lure in consumers wanting to try something new and different. Plus, they’re great for all ages.

grilled pork sliders with bbq sauce and pickles on a sweet roll
Ground pork patty seasoned with salt and pepper, topped with BBQ sauce and pickles, served on a sweet roll.

Results

Although they didn’t perform as well as the biscuit or the tenders, the Grilled Pork Sliders still outperformed 68% of all other dishes for uniqueness and 58% of all other dishes for frequency. The sliders also performed well compared to other sandwiches, outscoring 71% of other sandwiches for uniqueness and 62% of other sandwiches for frequency.

Key Takeaways

While sliders aren’t a new menu option, consumers see pork sliders as both new and interesting. Operators can differentiate their menus by offering pork sliders as an LTO, and can reach consumers wanting a snack or smaller meal. They can also include multiple flavors in a single serving and benefit from variety.

Considering all three concepts were twists on classic dishes rather than entirely new creations, they tested incredibly well. This should tell all restaurant operators in the convenience space that pork can (and likely will) succeed on menus if it’s featured in the right dish.

What pork dishes designed to meet consumers’ need for convenience have you had success with? I’d love to hear more about what’s working.