While usage of emerging channels is still low overall compared to traditional foodservice segments, strong appeal among younger consumers and continued nationwide expansion by these channels means increased competition for restaurants moving forward, according to “2019 Emerging Channels Consumer Trend Report.”

This report, produced by Technomic, Chicago, explores primary and secondary emerging channels, and covers the unique challenges and opportunities that each channel faces.

"Restaurant operators will have to pick and choose how to compete, as variety and uniqueness are currently competitive advantages for emerging channels," says Bret Yonke, manager of consumer insights. "Moving forward, watch for restaurants to turn the tables by utilizing certain emerging channels to expand their own brands, which some have already done by offering meal kits and creating their own branded food trucks."

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • 78% somewhat agree that food halls often introduce them to dishes they've never tried before.
  • 27% of meal kit users say they have switched companies since they first started using meal kits.
  • 60% say that if their favorite food truck opened a restaurant, they would be likely to visit.

This report compiles findings from 1,500 consumer responses.