Consumer Planning Program: How to Better Understand Your Customer

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly, we talk to some of the instrumental players in creating IFMA’s Consumer Planning Program. The Consumer Planning Program, or CPP, was a collaboration between IFMA and Datassential to dive deeper into the consumer mindset and find out why consumers pick a food-service venue, how those decisions are made and what manufacturers (and operators) can do to influence those decisions.

CPP began in 2012 when IFMA realized they were not as in touch with the consumer as they wanted to be and so the association dedicated resources to really building that understanding and relationship. This began their research into consumer needs and purchase motivations.

As Coca-Cola’s Ben Shanley put it, “At the end of the day from a manufacturing perspective, we’re trying to create consumer demand for our products and with all the changes that are going on right now in the industry it still all has to start with consumers.”

This initiative has been aimed at reaching consumers and helping brands understand their customers better. The team conducts qualitative research like focus groups with consumers to gather information and understand the language consumers use when they talk about their ‘away-from-home’ meals. That data is then validated through thousands of survey interviews– providing a lot of insight on what consumers are looking for.

Foodservice professionals can join the Consumer Planning Program and be a part of the committee that drives study topics and receives annual reports. Find out more about CPP here.

7 Ways to Analyze Your Hyper-Local Competition

7 Ways to Analyze Your Hyper-Local Competition

By Doug Radkey, Foodable Industry Expert

In recent years, you may have come across an emerging term online or within the realm of marketing called hyper-local. Though the term was first introduced to the masses in the early 1990s, it really started taking form with the development of mobile and GPS applications over the past 5-10 years. However, the idea surrounding hyper-local has been used for decades in terms of basic market research.

The definition of hyper-local describes it as delivering services to a town, village, county, postal code, or another small, defined community within your region. The term is nothing fancy. Just a combination of two words that essentially describes your local community and a term that can be used within a multitude of industries in various ways.

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From Bites to Bytes: How Real Data Powerhouses Are Transforming the Restaurant Industry

From Bites to Bytes: How Real Data Powerhouses Are Transforming the Restaurant Industry

By Mae Velasco, Custom Content Editor

Cooking is a science just as much as it is an art. And while the science part of culinary is usually associated with the food chemistry behind how ingredients change in texture and taste as molecules act together, there’s a new science in foodservice that’s revolutionizing the way we think about our industry: data science.

That’s right, we’re going from bites to bytes.

Big data. Unstructured data. Thick data. Data is the digital buzzword rising up in the restaurant and hospitality space. Although it is something our leaders and executives are seeing more of every day, it is something that many brands still find difficult to grasp and use to their full potential.

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Don't Just Keep Up — Here's How to Stay Ahead of Your Competitors

In the wise words of Gartner Research's Senior Vice President Peter Sondergaard, "Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine."

Do you harness the power of big data to keep fueling your business? Or are you exhausting your operations trying to find solutions and running out of steam?   

In this digital race, analyzing chunks of big data and understanding what it's saying in order to outperform competitors can prove to be an intimidating challenge. The process can take hours and hours of number crunching, and most busy operators, owners, and executives barely have enough time on their hands to run their day-to-day tasks. That's where Foodable comes in to make things just a little easier for you.

Each quarter, we release our Social Insights Report. Foodable Labs, powered through the Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI), does a deep dive into unstructured data relevant to the restaurant and hospitality industry. In this Issue 7 release, we examine the data for Q2 2016. 

Within the Social Insights Issue No. 7 Report, we make big data easy-to-read and digestible into small bites by dividing the data into categories and presenting the numbers into visual charts and lists, allowing businesses within the restaurant industry to see how they rank in comparison to other brands.

Not only does this report discuss consumer trends in regards to their sentiment, actions, and engagement with restaurant brands, but Foodable Labs presents industry data broken out into several categories, including burger concepts, pizza concepts, Mexican and FreshMex concepts, sandwich concepts, pizza concepts, bakery cafe concepts, top 10 and top 100 industry leading brands, and more.

There are five core social intelligence metrics studied in detail within the report: sentiment, influence, engagement, location-based actions (LBAs), and mobile engagement.

How the RSMI Works

The RSMI launched in 2009, and since then, has indexed more than 250 million consumers around the globe and more than 160,000 restaurant brands, building the largest competitive culinary, restaurant, and hospitality social intelligence database in the industry. We filter data from almost 20 different social networks every day through hundreds of thousands of industry terms to present data meaningful to thought leaders. In 2015, the RSMI captured and analyzed nearly 10 billion data points, all from unsolicited consumer input.

In this report, you will discover:

  • Revenue growth in regards to location-based actions
  • Leading trends in consumer engagement, interests, and actions
  • Overall sentiment of breakout food categories
  • Top 100 digital restaurant brands
  • Top 100 fast-casual brands
  • Top 100 casual restaurant brands
  • Top QSR brands
  • Top 25 most loved restaurant brands
  • Top 25 mobile restaurant brands
  • Top 25 brands by location-based actions
  • And much more!

Don't just keep up with the competition. Stay ahead of the game with the Social Insights Issue No. 7 Report.