Some 78% of consumers say the main reason they visit a restaurant or foodservice spot is to satisfy a craving, according to Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics, powered by Ignite. So what are the biggest triggers of said cravings? Cooking demos (a spark for 11% of consumers) and on-premise advertisements (10%) aren’t doing it for most people, so read on to see the top five methods that are.
4. Appearance matters
Three in 10 consumers (31%) say the appearance of menu items typically triggers their cravings. On this list, appearance is the sole trigger that skews higher for men (32%) over women (30%). Consumers in the Western U.S. are also more triggered by appearance (34%) than those in other regions.
2. Thoughts of the tried and true
Although many operators attempt to lure guests with exciting—and often outrageous—new dishes featuring exotic flavors and ingredients, a majority of consumers (57%) say that thoughts of an item they previously enjoyed drum up cravings, moreso than advertising or other means. Go-to dishes resonate most with mature customers, 71% of whom say that merely thinking of an item they previously had stirs up cravings.
1. Lead with your nose
Almost two-thirds of consumers (63%) say the aroma of items being prepared typically triggers cravings, making smell the No. 1 cravings spark for consumers. The appeal of aroma is higher among affluent consumers, as 72% of individuals with household incomes of $100,000 to $150,000 say their cravings are scent-triggered.