Find Out What Consumers and Chefs Can't Get Enough of in the 2019 Flavor Trends Report

Find Out What Consumers and Chefs Can't Get Enough of in the 2019 Flavor Trends Report

Today's consumers are looking for new ways to spice up their plate and palate. Whether it be with a new exciting protein or a dish they know and love that features a new flavor.

But consumers' tastes are constantly changing. With that in mind, every year we release reports pulling from our data index to see what consumers are craving.

For our latest report, we used Foodable Labs data to analyzed 910,309 social conversations on multiple social media platforms. Our dataset is made up of chefs, independent restaurant owners, corporate chefs, multi-unit brands, and food influencers.

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A Sneak Peek into the Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report

A Sneak Peek into the Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report

The Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report identifies the emerging sandwich concepts that are dominating the segment and reveals some interesting trends in menus and consumer interest.

Although we’ve seen a downward trend of 6.8 percent, year over year, in overall restaurant traffic based on social media mentions, the 300 sandwich innovator brands have seen a traffic increase of 3.4 percent, according to Foodable Labs.

The report, which is slated to release sometime in July, will provide an analysis exploring the sandwich segment and trends. The segment has seen an upward trend as far as traffic in social media mentions is concerned, which is a great statement for the newcomers that are dominating the market.

It may have something to do with the move towards brand transparency and the use of higher-quality ingredients. In fact, Food Quality is one of the highest ranked sentiment scores at 78.9 points for the Top 50 Sandwich Innovator concepts since the younger demographics are gravitating more towards higher quality and convenient food options. This research also points to the increased popularity of higher-quality ingredient sides, like chips. Snack brands, like Miss Vickie’s, are leading the way in this segment, further advancing the high-quality ingredients trend.

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Emerging Restaurant Brands Set New Pace for Growth While the Rest of the Industry Implodes in 2018

Emerging Restaurant Brands Set New Pace for Growth While the Rest of the Industry Implodes in 2018
  • Foodable Labs releases the Top 150 Emerging Restaurant Brands report.

  • These emerging brands saw 8.2% spike in social traffic and are millennial favorites.

The industry is facing a major slump in 2018, quite possibly the greatest reduction in traffic for total restaurant locations in the past 30 years.

Foodable Labs research reveals this trend based on a combination of three factors – industry sentiment, a transitioning consumer base and slowing social restaurant visits (SRVs.) These factors combined will attribute to the impending doom for the restaurant business in 2018.

This is where the Emerging Brands come in to save the day.

What seems to be a bulletproof approach to brand building, we have found that there are 150 brands that seem to be bucking the trends of slowing traffic, closing locations and a consumer shift. In fact, these emerging brands are breaking the norms of the restaurant business of the past by creating a new approach for an entirely new type of consumer.

These 150 restaurants are leading the industry in a variety of categories. On average, they are up 8.2 percent in SRVs versus the rest of the top 1,000 brands we have indexed, which is down 5.9 percent.

These brands also have an average Sentiment score of 86.5 compared to the industry average at 76.2.

What is even more impressive is the breakdown of consumer base. These brands average a staggering 63.5 percent of millennial consumers, a segment of the population with super buying power.

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Foodable Drops Chef Todd English From Top 100 Social Chefs Guide

Foodable Drops Chef Todd English From Top 100 Social Chefs Guide

Earlier this year, Foodable released its first Top 100 Social Chefs featuring the top-performing U.S. chefs in the digital space. As Foodable gears up to release the anticipated rankings for 2018 in January, a new policy has been implemented.

Foodable is dropping Chef Todd English from its Top 100 Social Chefs ranking due to sexual harassment allegations that arose in November.

This is what Foodable’s editor-in-chief, Paul Barron, had to say on the subject as he detailed the new Foodable policy:

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Foodable Labs Predicts Strong Sales for Del Taco and honeygrow in 2017

November showed small growth in social restaurant visits since October. On this episode of "On Foodable Weekly," Host Paul Barron dissects the numbers and predicts which brands may have strong sales in 2017. Watch below!

According to Foodable Labs, Facebook and Twitter conversations surrounding the top 500 restaurant brands are up this month, as are social restaurant visits. What are SRVs? Foodable Labs measures SRVs by looking at social media conversations and analyzing users’ intent to visit a restaurant, their return or referral to a restaurant, and direct actions such as Facebook Check-ins or Instagram posts about their trip to a restaurant.

Within the top 500 brands, Shake Shack showed the greatest growth in SRVs last month at 6.65 percent. Right behind Shake Shack, Tender Greens has held steady in the No. 2 spot with 5.64 percent growth over October. Other top 500 brands showing high SRV growth include Digg Inn, Penn Station, Arby’s, Modern Market, and Freshii.

Social restaurant visits for the entire industry are also showing a slight increase from 129.6 million to 130.1 million. This uptick is on trend with the increases we’ve been seeing since August.

Top Performers

Using our data, Foodable Labs has identified some predictors of strong sales and unit growth. Some brands predicted to do well in 2017 include Del Taco, honeygrow, Matchbox, Freshii, Zoes Kitchen, Mod Pizza, and Little Beet.

Our top performer of 2016, however, is a bit unexpected.

Host Paul Barron says, “McDonald’s has really turned the ship around and doing some things that have obviously made an impact with their brand.”

With an 80 point increase in their overall Foodable Labs Score in 2016, we are seeing a lot of similarities with McDonald’s sales chart. Competing with Wendy’s, Burger King, and Sonic Drive-in, McDonald’s holds their lead thanks to high social engagement with their customers.