- THE MAGAZINE
- FOOD MASTER
When it comes to French fries, one fry no longer satisfies consumer demand. In fact, research conducted by the Lamb Weston brand finds that consumers prefer multiple fries on a restaurant’s menu, and that they choose a restaurant based on the fries available.
Conducted as part of Lamb Weston’s ampliFRY program-a research-driven initiative that helps operators build menus and business-the research also finds that more operators are offering multiple fries to meet growing consumer demand.
“Consumers are rewarding those operators that actively market and promote unique fry offerings,” says Rob Owen, director of marketing for Lamb Weston, which is owned by ConAgra Foods, Omaha, Neb. “Whether with a second fry, distinctive seasoning or special dipping sauce, savvy operators are attracting and keeping customers with new menu options. And consumers are going out of their way to sample and satisfy their cravings for the new offerings.”
According to the recent ampliFRY survey, 47% of consumers choose a restaurant based on its French fries; one in three will go out of their way and visit a restaurant more often for fries they prefer. When asked if they would like restaurants to offer more than one type of fry, 78% said yes.
The ampliFRY survey also found that 54% of commercial restaurant operators now offer more than one fry, up from 30% in 2007. The percentage is even greater in non-commercial settings-88% offer more than one type of fry. And the strategy is paying off. Eighty-three percent of operators offering more than one type of fry say they experienced an increase in overall fry ordering.
“The biggest news in our findings is that consumers are more discriminating than ever, are demanding high-quality fries and are frequenting restaurants that offer them,” Owen adds. “Armed with the ampliFRY research, we’re now better positioned to help operators find and offer the right mix of fries to build their business.”
Consumers participating in the ampliFRY research were surveyed online through a consumer panel partner. Consumers were qualified based on traditional French fry or sweet potato fry consumption away from home. Participating operators were invited from Opera, an online operator panel. A double opt-in screening process was used, which focused on qualifying decision makers only. Participants were located in all regions of the United States, and no biases based on brand, category or product purchases or loyalty programs were introduced.