Farm To Fork Sourcing

Flavorful Learning - Craveability

Posted September 3, 2015

Craveability has morphed from a catchy buzzword into a formative business strategy. Take notice how craveability is now a “red thread” that is woven throughout industry presentations, trend reviews, national publications, advertisements and professional conversations. The influence of Gen Z and Millennials is the underlying force driving craveability, as these two generations are shaping the foodservice landscape.

People (especially Gen Z and Millennials) are now driven by “what” they want to eat vs. where they want to eat. This is a huge stat and demonstrates the shift and blurring in eating habits over the past 5-8 years. 76% of the time consumers select a dining venue based on a craving & cite cravings as the reason they purchase food away from home. This diminishing brand loyalty creates challenges – but also new opportunities for operators/chefs to grow & enhance the craveability quotient of their menu items.

You can break down these consumer & industry influences, translating this into applicable and actionable takeaways = integrating the building blocks of craveability throughout your business strategies.

5 Building Blocks of Craveability:

Messaging Cues - operator driven

  • Link craveability throughout your business, marketing & culinary strategies. Success will equal a focused collaboration between all departments.
  • Elicit a conversation with your guests – your story is a powerful connection in building & maintaining that conversation.
  • Building anticipation can drive consumer cravings. Enticing messaging & promotions places you in the consideration set of your guests.

Menu Verbiage

  • Craveable menu items are a critical element of the menu mix. They can drive repeat business and generate a buzz.
  • Descriptive words carry influential substance – use descriptions to set the crave and drive business.
  • Full flavored messaging will evoke purchasing decisions via the eyes and appetite.
  • Your menu is your identity and the one thing that every guest (current & potential) will see, experience & consider.

Visual Appeal

  • Visuals travel faster than words and can be instant PR - pictures, food visuals and live experiences have tremendous consumer impact. Think of visuals as the ultimate modern day shareable.
  • Connect all areas of your brand visuals – look of food, packaging, promotions, advertising and operational cues.
  • Showcase your packaging as a consumer connection, telling the story of why your products deliver value beyond the competition.

Flavor Drivers

  • Craveable menu items are associated with guest visit satisfaction.
  • Position your food & beverage attributes, just as much as your brand.
  • 74% of consumers say that FLAVOR, is more important than brand. Take a flavor centric approach in your recipe development.
  • Flavor conjures both an emotional & mental experience. Accentuate what makes your brand relevant and distinctive.

Messaging Cues – guest driven

  • Take a 360° approach with messaging, to create long-term engagement & ownership for your guests. Guest ownership is key to success – encourage the voice of your fans.
  • It is important to understand how your guest feels and create a meaningful dialogue. Consumers crave a deeper connection with brands, especially since they have the ability to interact with more brands than ever before.
  • People are extremely passionate about their food and tend to share the instant communication of their experiences. Craft social media campaigns to tap into this “of the moment” expression, as user driven content is the most trusted.
  • Focus on crafting honest memories for your guests. People remember memories, more so than other things in life. Memories create a lasting consumer connection with your brand.

- chef rob Corliss, ATE

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