Plant-Based Food Has Been One of the Drivers of Consumer Trends For First Half of 2018

Plant-Based Food Has Been One of the Drivers of Consumer Trends For First Half of 2018

In this Special Report, our host Paul Barron takes the time to share with us some of the most interesting pieces of data from the Mid-Year Consumer Trends report.

Our sister company, Foodable Labs, analyzed 162K food influencers and 6.2 million conversations to determine what lays at the heart of consumer trends for the first half of 2018. As Paul Barron points out in this podcast, what constitutes a 'food influencer' for the purposes of this report, is an individual who's had five engagements with a restaurant a month, in terms of frequency.

There are five categories that the Mid-Year Consumer Trends report is based on and in this special podcast, you'll listen to Paul Barron's analysis of the data.

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Will Amazon's Future Grocery Stores Affect Restaurant Operators?

Will Amazon's Future Grocery Stores Affect Restaurant Operators?

By Mae Velasco, Custom Content Editor

Anyone who doesn’t believe that is one of the biggest innovators in e-commerce and a leader in delivering the ultimate user experience is swimming in de’ Nile. From its early days in 1994 when it began as an online bookstore before diversifying to DVDs, CDS, software, apparel, furniture, and more, to now producing consumer electronics like tablets, e-readers, and Fire TV and providing cloud infrastructure services, this brand has been a giant stomping all over the retail market.

AmazonFresh, a subsidiary effort that launched in 2007 to bring consumers fresh produce and groceries to their door, proves this company is on a mission to cross multiple verticals, and recent news show that Amazon is disrupting industries yet again.

According to Business Insider, Amazon is aiming to open 20 brick-and-mortar grocery stores in the next two years, with up to 2,000 projected AmazonFresh-branded grocery stores over the next decade. Its pilot program will hit major cities including Amazon’s home base, Seattle, Las Vegas, New York, Miami, and the Bay area by 2018.

This isn’t the first time this online retailer has gone from digital to doorway, with a few physical bookstores and pop-up stores in malls, but with its more aggressive push into the $800 billion grocery market, how will this next level of consumer convenience affect restaurant operators in the face of a restaurant recession and the increasing grocery-restaurant price gap?

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News Roundup: The Grocery-Restaurant Price Gap, Meal Kit Popularity, and Del Taco All on the Rise

In this week’s episode of "On Foodable Weekly," host Paul Barron holds a round-table discussion of the latest restaurant industry news. Joined by The Restaurant Coach, Donald Burns, and speaker and consultant at Customer Service is the Bottom Line, Andrew Carlson, Paul talks about the widening grocery-restaurant price gap, the increasing popularity of meal kits, and growth shown by American-Mexican chain Del Taco.

The Grocery-Restaurant Price Gap

We have seen a 2.4 percent increase in restaurant prices over the past year. That, coupled with a 2.2 percent drop in grocery prices, has understandably led families to take to the grocery store. While this gap may have resulted in the decline in the same-store sales we have been seeing, there is a slew of other reasons that may be contributing to this gap, as well. One of the biggest contributors is the upcoming presidential election. As Andrew explains, Americans are worried about what will happen after the election. The unpredictability of the future may be leading consumers to stay home and save a couple extra dollars in preparation for economic uncertainty.

The Growing Popularity of Meal Kits

Also causing some worry in the restaurant industry is the growing popularity of meal kits. The meal-kit surge shows no signs of slowing. As Donald notes, their popularity may be growing as an attempt to reconnect to the days where families would pass down and teach recipes. Some big brand restaurants like Panera and Moe's are showing that large chunks of their consumer bases are starting to join the meal-kit revolution. 

Del Taco Steps Up

Paul also discusses Del Taco, a restaurant that is showing big growth. With its increase in offering high-quality products and high-level of loyalty and reference, the sentiment score of Del Taco is increasing. This growth could also be in relation to the struggles Chipotle is having after their E. coli outbreak last year.

“Chipotle set themselves as the standard for quality products, and then when they had their slip in favor or public opinion of them, Del Taco took a great opportunity and perfect timing, took advantage of it and they upped their game with a lot better quality ingredients.”

Watch the episode to learn more!

And don't forget to check out all the information on, the can't-miss event of 2017.