New Research: All About Dining Out: What’s On Trend

As the No. 1 consumed protein globally, pork is an on-trend source of healthy protein and a vehicle for popular, experiential multicultural flavors and dishes. Recent research shows that consumers and foodservice operators are positive about pork – they love the flavor, think it’s versatile and satisfying, and want to see it more often on menus.

But pork only appears in 17% of entrees on menus. When bacon, sausage and pepperoni are removed from that list, less than 7% of menu entrees feature fresh pork.

So, what’s the problem? Where’s the disconnect? Why don’t operators offer more pork options when consumers are clearly hungry for it?

That’s what we set out to understand in our newest Insight to Action report, All About Dining Out. Within this report, we explore the occasions that define dining out decisions and identify growth opportunities within the foodservice industry. Using our comprehensive data and insights, we convert these opportunities into powerful, collaborative ideas and initiatives that empower our industry partners to succeed.


Generational Shifts

Last year, Millennials eclipsed Baby Boomers in consumer buying power – and the even younger Gen Z isn’t far behind. It is evident that no matter the industry, adapting to younger generations is critical for survival. What does that mean for the pork industry? With the exception of bacon, belly and a few other pork cuts, the outlook isn’t promising. In general, the younger the shopper, the less they love pork.

How can the industry reverse this trend among the younger generations? How do we increase relevance today?

The answer lies in understanding generational shifts — not just in relation to pork consumption, but in regard to the entire food industry. Taking a step back and looking at the macro trends at play, we see it’s not simply a matter of appealing to Millennials. The consumer landscape is shifting, and retail, foodservice and consumer meat consumption trends are all changing with it.

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Hispanics and Pork

Pork is central to Latino culinary culture and traditions. So it should be great news for the pork industry that Hispanics are also one the fastest growing consumer segments in the United States.

So what’s the problem? As Latinos integrate more of the U.S. lifestyle and culture into their lives, the less they eat pork.

Hispanics present the greatest opportunity – and if overlooked, the greatest risk – to retailers, producers and packers. If we don’t address this critical population now, we stand to lose some of our most loyal customers today and for decades to come.

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An Introduction to Dinner At Home in America

Family and the way we dine together has changed drastically in America. Sitting down together every night to enjoy a home-cooked meal is as outdated as the rotary dial.

From solo dinners to multigenerational meals, the way Americans eat dinner at home – and the behaviors, flavors and needs impacting their meal choices – continue to shift and become more complex.

Retailers, pork producers and packers are at the mercy of this ever-shifting landscape and must get out in front of understanding the root needs and wants of the consumers who drive it all to succeed.