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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

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