Data indicated younger consumers are craving seafood, veggie-focused options.
What comes to mind when you think of seafood? A tray of artfully arranged oysters? A bearded sea captain with one leg and a deep, abiding love for clam chowder?
How about franchising’s most sought-after demographic?
That’s right; a recent report maintained that Millennials are fiending for fish thanks to the perceived health benefits. Food Business News cited Technomic in saying nearly three-fourths of consumers who ordered more seafood entrees over the past two years did so because they believed it was a healthier option than beef, pork or poultry items.
Millennials are also fans of vegan and vegetarian meal options, with 45 percent of younger consumers who order vegan and vegetarian meals likely to follow a strict diet precluding meat.
“Health will continue to drive the seafood and vegetarian menu mix, and it can be leveraged both to spur interest in these options and to benefit the concept as a whole, by broadening appeal, reducing the ‘veto vote’ and creating a health halo,” Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights for Technomic, was quoted as saying.
The trend toward seafood and non-meat meals is creating a hole in the world of fast-casual franchising. While nearly half of consumers said they want restaurants to offer a wider variety of seafood entrees, only 6 percent of seafood entrees on menus in the U.S. are found at fast-casual establishments.
“These options also provide a point of differentiation that younger consumers look for as inventive, yet satisfying vegetarian and seafood items featuring on-trend ingredients to create a contemporary, unique and better-for-you positioning,” Weikel said.
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