Consumers most concerned about provenance in foodservice

Wednesday, 08 November, 2017

When eating out, Australian consumers are most concerned with provenance, with 19% identifying it as the most important characteristic at foodservice occasions. Provenance relates to knowing the origins of the product, whether it is Australian grown, prepared from local ingredients or fair trade.

According to global information company The NPD Group, one in three Australian consumers are conscious of food and beverage product characteristics when eating out.

The data also revealed that key product attributes vary with age. Statistics showed that consumers aged 50 and over were more concerned with provenance (22%) than the rest of the population, whereas millennials placed greater importance on a wide range of food and beverage attributes, including cruelty-free ingredients and clean eating.

Australian consumers in general also ranked no added content such as hormones and preservatives second with 14%, followed by low content such as calorie, carbohydrate and sodium with 12%.

Within the foodservice channels, The NPD Group found differences between fast casual and traditional quick service restaurants (QSR). While provenance continued to be the most important characteristic for consumers at QSR, fast casual consumers cared most about no added content. Overall, fast casual consumers tended to have a more positive outlook on all product attributes than traditional QSR consumers, most notably those relating to cleaning eating and cruelty free.

This data reveals the mentality behind consumer purchasing habits so the foodservice industry can focus on addressing consumer demands and making more confident business decisions. Ciara Clancy, NPD Group director Australia foodservice, reiterated the importance all consumers placed on transparency and product origin.

“Transparency is not an added bonus, but has become an expectation for consumers when it comes to the ingredients they are putting into their bodies. Combined with the fact that they have also grown more health conscious, consumers crave more knowledge about what they are eating,” said Clancy. “Conveying honesty, wholesomeness and simplicity in their product offerings are the pillars for operators to succeed in the foodservice industry today.”

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