SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

Supply Chain Trends Every Quick-Service Restaurant Needs to Know

Posted by Dan Barton

Sep 2, 2016 11:30:00 AM

This blog was originally published on Supply Chain World magazine's editors blog.

Fast food has become the new battlefield for sales, the new frontier for customer-alluring innovations in edibles, and supply chain professionals have taken competition to new heights. Some QSR trends, in particular, are responsible for notching the proverbial bar ever-skyward, with smaller, upstart chains threatening to outpace larger, established competitors on niche offerings and supply chain agility alone. Ignoring these trends is no longer a viable operational option. No matter what your menu hinges on, there is always room to smoothly work in new creations, or tweak your supply chain for efficiency. As you fight to keep your brand on top in the QSR wars, there are three prominent trends that you need to be aware of.

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Topics: QSR, Food Service, Trends, Supply Chain

2 Signs That a QSR Industry Trend Will Stand the Test of Time

Posted by Jami Edgington

Aug 29, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Customers can be fickle. Not every food fad develops into a QSR trend. As cases in point, remember 2004, when fast food restaurants were scrambling to serve burgers as lettuce wraps, or the late ‘80s, when even the big chains ran themselves in circles trying to trim every possible bit of extraneous fat out of their menus? The risk of diving too far, too fast into a food fad is substantial. QSR restaurants that tailor their marketing too specifically toward the mode or don’t diversify their menu offerings can alienate their core customers and leave themselves too exposed to the winds of change.

So how can your company avoid fleeting fashions and focus its attention instead on the food trends that are likely to last? Let’s take a look at the 2 digital signs that could tell you if a food trend is here to stay.

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Topics: QSR, Food Service, Trends

QSR Must Fight Stigma to Capitalize on Millennial Eating Trends

Posted by Frank Barcelona

Aug 1, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Let’s take a moment for some honest reflection: Fast food faces a real challenge. Among Millennials, the industry suffers from an image problem. Young consumers have more than a few ugly assumptions about fast food. To put it simply, fast food isn’t really “in” with younger generations of American eaters.

A lot of Millennials, upon hearing the words “fast food,” will automatically jump to “burgers-and-fries.” They associate fast food with high-fat, high-calorie, uninspired meals. And to top things off, in many cases, fast food consumption brings with it the risk of being judged poorly by peers.

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Topics: QSR, Millennial Consumers, Trends, Food Service

How the QSR Industry Can Decide Which Consumer Trends to Follow

Posted by Craig Fissel

Jul 29, 2016 3:30:00 PM

From creative ways to showcase spam to fairy bread and sriracha sauce, food trends come and go; embracing the wrong trends can cost you.  Following trends can help you capitalize on popularity and offer items that are likely to be accepted by your target demographic — provided you choose trends that have some staying power.

Choose the wrong trend to follow and you could miss out in a variety of ways.

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Topics: QSR, Trends, Food Service

4 Trends That Help QSR Capitalize on Breakfast Opportunities

Posted by Frank Barcelona

Jul 22, 2016 11:30:00 AM

It’s no secret that breakfast has been one of the fastest growing offerings in the QSR and convenience store industries; some segments are only seeing increases when it comes to breakfast sales and morning offerings. What’s driving this trend? Snackification, the appeal of a diverse menu of healthy, protein-rich offerings and an emphasis on convenience, as detailed below.

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Topics: QSR, Breakfast, Trends, Food Service

Why Breakfast Should Be the First Focus for the QSR Industry

Posted by Steve Shutte

Jul 11, 2016 2:00:00 PM

No matter how — or when — you eat breakfast, chances are it is no longer a sit-down meal prepared at home. At least, not all the time. Grab-and-go breakfasts are increasingly popular with busy Millennials headed to the office in the morning. However, they are also gaining favor as snack foods with young moms on the way home after running a carpool, with anyone who needs a comforting midday pick-me-up and with professionals who need a bit of protein on the way to a late afternoon appointment.

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Topics: QSR, Breakfast, Food Service, Trends

How to Break QSR Breakfast Out of the Box

Posted by Lance Layman

Jul 8, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Predicting consumer trends in food, particularly at the drive-through window, has always been a task perhaps better suited to a soothsayer than a nutritionist or a corporate analyst. That's no reason to negate or discount the findings of studies that track consumer preferences, however, or to ignore hot new trends. While breakfast bacon and egg sandwiches served on glazed doughnuts haven’t become mainstream favorites and a breakfast oat and bacon combo spiced with turmeric sounds delicious to almost nobody, there are numerous new foodie options that capitalize on trends and appeal to taste preferences at the same time. With planning, they can be rolled out on menus and be a healthy source of revenue as well.

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Topics: QSR, Trends, Breakfast, Food Service

3 Signs the Fast Food Industry Should Invest in Sustainable Sourcing

Posted by Olga Bitsakis

Jul 1, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The definition of "good" food has historically revolved around a single consideration: taste. As long as your food had the right flavors in the right proportions, facets of the fast food dining experience like the ambience or menu pricing were somewhat flexible. But the internet has been changing the face of the fast food industry for years now, most notably in marketing, so the fact that it's shaking the very bedrock of what "good" food means should come as no surprise.

While digital outreach and engagement has undoubtedly helped with cementing QSR brand identity and marketing, it's also given procurement professionals unprecedented insights into the wants and habits of their consumers. The signs are loud and clear: sustainability reigns supreme.

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Topics: QSR, Sustainability, Food Service, Trends

It Pays to Be a Pioneer: Sustainability in the Fast Food Industry

Posted by Steve Shutte

Jun 27, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The growing significance of sustainability and quality fast food sourcing were the key takeaways at the recent NRA show in Chicago as consumers continue to seek out better food options for themselves and their families, even in a fast food setting. What caused sustainability to be such a great concern to the mainstream buying public, and how can a business benefit from opting for transparent, sustainable food sourcing and packaging methods? A look at the history of the business of food and the shift of consumer perception over time reveals some surprising insights.

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Topics: QSR, Sustainability, Food Service, Trends

How Consumers Are Driving the Future of Fast Food Sourcing

Posted by Craig Fissel

Jun 24, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The plate — or box and bag, for to-go customers — used to be the final say in consumer satisfaction. Consumers bought a fast food meal because the taste and quality of the food made the grade — or didn't patronize a chain because their food didn’t make the cut. While that's still true, the scope of discerning customers has pulled back to widen the frame, centering on the journey to that box, bag or plate as well.

Fast food sourcing is in a unique position of having to "untrain" itself out of decades of price-centered pursuit and start paying attention to the story of their supply chain as well. Make no mistake, pricing is still important — customers still demand great value for their QSR dollar, after all — but simply moving ingredients from origin to destination won't cut it in terms of competition. Customers are, by virtue of their wallet-votes, beginning to demand more from their chain experiences, and that means that smart QSR brands are paying attention and planning accordingly.

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Topics: QSR, Sustainability, Trends, Food Service