Today, the National Pork Board released its latest findings from the comprehensive Insight to Action research, this time examining trends in consumer behavior related to dining out. With a shifting dining out landscape and multicultural cuisine trends on the rise in the U.S., the Pork Board set out to understand the needs, considerations and motivations that impact out-of-home dining decisions.
The Pork Board’s All About Dining Out: What’s on Trend report uncovers why consumers decide to eat the proteins they do and explores tactics so that foodservice operators can meet those needs, such as exploring new flavors, dishes and menu formats. Similar to the Pork Board’s findings from the previous report, Dinner at Home in America, there is an overarching high level of consumer satisfaction with dishes that feature pork, pointing to opportunity for incorporating pork in new ways on menus.
Some of the key consumer insights from the report include:
- There are three primary drivers for consumer decisions. When considering where and what to eat when dining out, there are three primary drivers for consumers:
- They treat themselves. Consumers seek out menu options they don’t usually make at home. One in four consumers (27%) consistently look for something new to eat, and they see dining out as an opportunity to treat themselves and indulge a little bit. As the Pork Board’s research revealed in January, consumers don’t keep pork on hand as often as other proteins.
- Healthy options are still important. While health isn’t the main reason people dine away from home, it’s still important to consumers that menus have healthy options. Restaurants can expand the menu to include healthy pork options – like the pork tenderloin or the pork sirloin chop – in the same set as other healthy proteins, such as chicken and seafood.
- When health is the primary driver for a consumer’s dining out decision, roughly six in 10 diners want a food that is “reasonably healthy,” and roughly four in 10 want a food that fits their diet.
- Expand their horizons. When asked what pork dishes people crave, 51% said they crave Mexican and Latin pork dishes and 45% said they crave Asian pork dishes.
- Make it easy; make it fast. Convenience was the primary need for consumers in 38% of away-from-home dining occasions. Consumers have high expectations for convenience when out to eat, and technology and the proliferation of on-the-go dining options have helped meet that need.
About the Research
The National Pork Board commissioned custom research with C+R Research and Datassential. The multi-phased custom studies surveyed 10,000+ consumers and paired foodservice operator interviews, volumetric data, and syndicated foodservice data to gain a comprehensive, in-depth look at the needs, offerings, considerations and motivations that impact out-of-home dining decisions of U.S. consumers.
About the National Pork Board
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Pork Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in consumer education and marketing, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety, and environmental management and sustainability. For the past half century, the U.S. pork industry has delivered on its commitment to sustainable production and has made significant strides in reducing the environmental impact of pig farming. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or visit www.pork.org.