Yet fast casual remains a singular force in food service, one that continues to dominate the cultural landscape. So, a little more than a decade into its reign, we thought we’d check in on the industry: what do consumers want from a fast casual experience, what are they actually getting, and how can operators start to bridge the difference? What concepts most excite consumers, which seem passé at this point, and what can QSR and casual dining operators learn from all of this? These are some of the questions we set out to answer in our 2019 Fast Casual Food Industry Report.
It’s a pretty good time to be dropping a market research retail industry report. We are in the midst of the yearly retail bonanza that is the holiday season, and news of traditional retailers either rebranding and rebounding or simply failing to adapt litter business blogs (yes, including this one). Meanwhile, upstart digital-only retailers seemingly emerge every day to bring new challenges to brick-and-mortar’s doorstep.
Grocery shopping ain’t what it used to be. With omnichannel and digital-only challengers threatening legacy grocery’s status quo, operators are racing to build out their omnichannel operations, ranging from in-store pickup of digitally ordered items (click and collect) to rapid grocery delivery (Amazon’s got it down to 2 hours or less).
We are doing things a bit differently this year. As you may have noticed, we have done away with our Pre-Holiday Reports, retiring them after five great years of forecasting and exploring purchase intentions. Our reasoning: Pre-Holiday Reports, we have heard from our Retail industry and CPG industry clients, do not provide adequate time to put insights into action—by the time shoppers have shaped their holiday purchase intentions, retailers have necessarily already completed their holiday preparations.
For our 2017 Grocery Industry Report, we decided it was time to stop asking if and where people are grocery shopping on and offline, and instead start asking who and how. So between April 10 and April 24, we surveyed 1,687 respondents from our proprietary database, The Source, asking them about their online and in-store shopping habits, priorities, and pain points. The results should be instructive to grocers at a critical moment in the unfolding story of online grocery shopping.