Lunch traffic cools as competition heats up

Study conducted by Technomic reveals the latest trends and data to understanding consumers’ shifting behavior and attitudes at lunch.

CHICAGO, July 29, 2016—Consumers are purchasing lunch away from home slightly less often now than two years ago, according to Technomic’s recently released 2016 Lunch Consumer Trend Report. Further, restaurants have a growing list of lunchtime competitors as retailers, food trucks and other emerging channels are improving their offerings and becoming more accessible.

“In dealing with sluggish traffic and increased competition, operators have a heightened need to differentiate,” explains Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic. “Highlighting signature items and high-quality ingredients can help meet flavor demands, while tech-based amenities such as digital ordering channels and loyalty programs will help operators’ adapt to consumers’ changing needs.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Consumers are becoming less price-conscious at lunch: fewer consumers now (45%) than in 2014 (51%) are always careful about how much they spend at lunch
  • Among Millennials who order delivery for lunch, 38% do so to try more restaurants; offering lunchtime delivery may help restaurants extend their reach and serve a broader group of consumers
  • Fewer consumers now (62%) than in 2014 (69%) say preparation speed is important for weekday lunches; while still demanding of convenience, consumers may be increasingly likely to wait longer for freshly made lunch fare

Compiling findings from more than 1,500 consumers, as well as Technomic’s MenuMonitor and Digital Resource Library, the comprehensive 2016 Lunch Consumer Trend Report serves as a guide for foodservice operators and suppliers to understand consumer behavior at lunch and to identify key areas of opportunity.”

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

Press Inquiries and Report Details: Kelly Weikel, (312) 506-3830, or
Purchasing Details: Patrick Noone, (312) 506-3852, or

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

About Winsight, LLC
Winsight LLC is a recognized leader in business-to-business media and information services for the convenience-retailing, foodservice and grocery industries. Winsight has an extensive media portfolio, including five publications: CSP, Restaurant BusinessFoodService DirectorConvenience Store Products, and Winsight Grocery Business. Winsight also offers a suite of digital products, including websites, e-newsletters, webinars, video products, mobile and tablet apps, and custom marketing solutions. In addition to more than 12 major EduNetworking conferences and advisory meetings, Winsight also produces seven exclusive, large-scale executive-level conferences: Restaurant Leadership Conference, Global Restaurant Leadership ConferenceOutlook Leadership Conference, Convenience Retailing University, FSTECMenuDirections and Restaurant Directions. In 2015, Winsight acquired Technomic Inc., a provider of primary and secondary market information and advisory services for the food industry. For more information on Winsight and its brands, go to

Recent Press Releases

July 30, 2020
Our hot-button predictions for food, flavor, operations and consumer attitudes in 2020 have pivoted as suppliers, operators, distributors and other foodservice folks have changed courses to navigate through the unexpected coronavirus. Here are our updated 2020 trends.
June 30, 2020
Across the U.S., from major cities to rural towns, people of all backgrounds have come together to protest racial injustice and discrimination against the Black community. What role does the restaurant industry play in these situations? Technomic used its consumer tracking tool to explore this topic.
June 26, 2020
Technomic shares key data points in State of the Industry presentation and launches new Economic Impact Navigator program. The virtual conference gave a preview into what the new program will offer, including year-round insights and guidance to anticipate economic shifts for the foodservice industry