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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
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 technomic.com.

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 www.winsightmedia.com.

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