State of the Industry: Masters of the Dinner Table
New meal and entrée selections spur a growth in foodservice.
For many foodservice brands, success is about mastering mealtime—providing operators an easy-to-prepare solution that restaurant goers crave. Today’s meal solutions include everything from grilled breakfast items and sandwich varieties that deliver both quality and flavor to Mexican foods bursting with better-for-you ingredients.
Whatever the abilities though, these masters of the dinner table are helping spur significant growth in the foodservice category.
Sandwiches that sell. Cincinnati-based AdvancePierre Foods introduced the latest addition to itsBIG AZ brand sandwich line—the new BaconAddict Cheeseburger. Set to satisfy bacon-loving consumers, the burger features a juicy, oversized flame-broiled beef patty sandwiched between two layers of bacon-infused American cheese, topped with more bacon and served up on AdvancePierre Foods’ hearth-baked yeast roll.
AdvancePierre Foods also introduced a new line of breakfast sandwiches for convenience markets—Fast Bites. Available in Sausage Biscuit, Sausage Sandwich on a bun, Sausage and Cheese Sandwich on a bun, Breaded Chicken Biscuit and Spicy Breaded Chicken Biscuit options, Fast Bites’ pricing is ideal for “2 for $2.22” promotions or as part of a combo meal deal. Plus, they can either be served hot from a sandwich warmer or merchandised cold to be heated on demand. Fast Bites are made with savory pork sausage, Southern-style and spicy breaded chicken, fresh biscuits and hearth-baked yeast rolls.
AdvancePierre Foods’ Classic Patty Melt sandwich offers the traditional sandwich in a microwaveable format. Sold under its Pierre Panini Style Melts line, the Patty Melt features a flame-broiled beef patty topped with melted American cheese and sautéed onion strips, served on grilled rye bread that is crisped in the microwave using a proprietary microwave susceptor sleeve.
Can’t pass on the pasta. Giovanni Rana, Oak Brook, Ill., debuted a Ricotta & Spinach pasta offering, complete with fresh baby spinach blended with fresh ricotta and a touch of parmesan wrapped in the company’s signature thin egg pasta.
Transforming good into great. Little Lady Foods, Elk Grove Village, Ill., launched a new line of Thin & Crispy Take-and-Bake Pizza. This full-size, upscale pizza line features a stone-fired thin crust and bold sauces; the crunchy Panko breadcrumb application on the bottom maintains crispiness in the deli case for approximately seven days. The crust is paired with Four Cheese, Double Pepperoni, Buffalo Chicken and Philly Cheesesteak, among others. It’s customizable as a square or round pizza, and arrives pre-packaged and ready to stack and sell.
Restaurants are still in the running
According to Chicago-based Technomic, the foodservice industry is forecasted to grow 4.1% in 2014, with independent restaurants outpacing chains, and colleges/universities, hospitals, senior living facilities, lodging and in-store foodservice outperforming traditional restaurants and bars.
Meanwhile, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) shows an even more optimistic outlook, standing at 100.6 in March, up 0.7% from 99.9 in February. This represents the second time in the last three months the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion, says the Washington, D.C.-based association.
Restaurant operators remain generally optimistic that their sales will improve in the months ahead, according to NRA’s Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions. Forty-four percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months, up slightly from 41% in March.
Despite today’s roller-coaster economy, these masters of the dinner table stand tall and mighty with the ultimate meal experience.
To learn more about these and other new meals and entrées, go to http://bit.ly/19VCNBi.