— 07.28.16 —

Consumers Weigh in on Home-Grown Businesses vs. Large Food Chains

New research reveals insights on perceptions of chain and non-chain food options in America.

  • July 28, 2016

Consumers Weigh in on Home-Grown Businesses vs. Large Food Chains

New research reveals insights on perceptions of chain and non-chain food options in America

More than half of Americans (59%) say they don’t have a preference between chain and non-chain restaurants and grocery stores, according to research from Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink. A new white paper titled “Are We Chain Obsessed?” examines how consumers choose between national chains and local favorites in the foodservice and retail grocery sectors and shares practical implications for food marketers.

“There’s no denying that Americans have an abundance of food choices today, especially with the rapid growth of local and national restaurants popping up in every neighborhood,” said Christy Niebaum, senior FoodThink researcher. “In a saturated market like what we live in today, restaurant and grocery owners and marketers need to understand what matters most to consumers in order to stay top-of-mind.”

Insights from the white paper explain how consumers make their dining and grocery shopping decisions:

  • 61% of consumers think that most major U.S. cities have the same “cookie cutter” options of national restaurant chains
  • Value (55%) and availability (53%) are attributes ranked the lowest by consumers for local and regional restaurants
  • 64% agree that grocery stores offer similar products, but the overall shopping experience is what keeps them coming back

“It’s apparent that consumers see the value and need for both chain and non-chain restaurants and grocery stores,” said Niebaum. “Most Americans desire the availability and consistency that chains have mastered, and they appreciate the quality and authenticity that makes mom-and-pop operations special.”

The new white paper also breaks down restaurant and grocery store preferences based on geographic areas and by specific consumer segments. For instance, dads have a stronger preference for chain restaurants while 42% of Millennials say they will eat at fewer national chain restaurants in the future.

FoodThink white papers are built on proprietary research conducted in 2016 and utilize the responses from more than 2,000 U.S. consumers of diverse demographic backgrounds.

Download a free copy of the white paper with key implications for food marketers, and follow the blog at shsfoodthink.com.

Featured News