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Starters, small plates and sides playing a key role as eating habits shift

Study conducted by Technomic reveals the latest trends and data to understanding consumers’ shifting behavior and attitudes toward starters, small plates and sides

CHICAGO, Aug. 25, 2017—Starters, small plates and sides are well-positioned to gain share of stomach as eating habits shift to include more snacking and sharing, according to Technomic’s recently released 2017 Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report. Small plates, in particular, continue to proliferate on menus and are helping to change meal dynamics.

“Preference is growing for meals that include several smaller-portioned or shareable dishes instead of those focused on a single entree,” explains Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic. “Small plate and appetizer bundles, samplers and more innovative side dishes are trending as consumers increasingly opt for meals that feature a variety of flavors.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Thirty-eight percent of consumers who order appetizers strongly agree that they sometimes visit a certain restaurant because they are craving a specific appetizer
  • Forty-three percent of consumers would like more full-service restaurants to offer small plates
  • Sixty-two percent of consumers say it’s important that they can choose the side that comes with their entree

Compiling findings from more than 1,500 consumers, as well as Technomic’s MenuMonitor and Digital Resource Library, the comprehensive 2017 Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report serves as a guide for foodservice operators and suppliers to understand consumer consumption of and attitudes toward the left side of the menu and to identify key areas of opportunity.

Technomic publishes a complete library of Consumer Trend Reports. To learn more, please visit technomic.com or contact one of the individuals listed below.

Contacts:
Press Inquiries and Report Details: Kelly Weikel, (312) 506-3830, or kweikel@technomic.com
Purchasing Details: Patrick Noone, (312) 506-3852, or pnoone@technomic.com

About Technomic
Only Technomic, a Winsight company, delivers a 360-degree view of the food industry. We impact growth and profitability for our clients by providing consumer-grounded vision and channel-relevant strategic insights. Our services range from major research studies and management consulting solutions to online databases and simple fact-finding assignments. Our clients include food manufacturers and distributors, restaurants and retailers, other foodservice organizations, and various institutions aligned with the food industry. Visit us at technomic.com.

About Winsight, LLC
Winsight LLC is a business-to-business media, event, data and information company specializing in the convenience-retailing, restaurant and noncommercial foodservice industries. Winsight has an extensive media portfolio with leading publications, including CSP, Convenience Store Products, Restaurant Business, FoodService Director, and now Grocery Headquarters as of June 2017. Winsight Media offers a suite of digital products, including websites, e-newsletters, webinars, video, apps and custom marketing solutions. The Winsight Events group produces exclusive large-scale executive-level conferences, including Restaurant Leadership, Global Restaurant Leadership, FARE Conference, Outlook Leadership, Convenience Retailing University, FSTEC, Restaurant Trends & Directions and MenuDirections. Winsight also owns Technomic Inc., the leading provider of market information and advisory services for the food industry. For more information on Winsight and its brands, go to www.winsightmedia.com or www.technomic.com.

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