As part of our mission to be the go-to resource for on-the-go restaurant industry professionals, Modern Restaurant Management magazine (MRM) offers highlights of recent research. This mid-August edition features news about declining numbers, Pokémon Go profits, eating habits, hot dogs and packaging trends.
Weak July Performance
Results for July show a continued downward slide that began after a strong start in 2015. According to TDn2K’s™Black Box Intelligence™, encompassing nearly 25,000 restaurant units and representing $64 billion in sales, restaurant comp sales declined 1.4 percent in July. Comp traffic was down 3.9 percent. July represents the weakest performance for both metrics since December 2013.
The downward trend in sales has been gradual and consistent. Since January 2015, comp sales have slipped an average of .25 percent per month. Segment performance is uneven. Casual dining still mirrors the industry, but consistently trails by about 0.7 percentage points. Fast casual’s decline has been more modest. However, in July, fast casual sales dropped -2.3 percent, the first time it has lagged the industry since January 2015. Also of interest, higher ticket segments such as upscale casual and fine dining under-performed the industry in July, falling -1.6 and -5.8 percentage points, respectively.
QSR is still the one segment with consistently positive sales.
Quick service (QSR) is still the one segment with consistently positive sales. QSR’s sales trend hovers around 2.0 percent in 2016 and exceeds the industry by roughly 2.5 percentage points. It was the only segment up in sales in July (1.3 percent).
The performance malaise cuts across most geographic regions. Texas and the Southwest have the deepest declines in sales and traffic. Though results aren’t as strong as 2015, California is consistently the best-performing region. It has only experienced one month of negative comp sales in the past two years.
“The U.S. economy continues to wander along its modest to moderate growth pace,” said Joel Naroff, President of Naroff Economic Advisors and TDn2K economist. “There is a great divide between business and household spending. Consumer demand was strong in the second quarter, driven by decent job and wage gains. However, business investment was down sharply, in part because of inventory adjustments. As that dissipates, investment should improve. The outlook is for GDP growth to be in the 2.5 percent range for the second half of the year. That should create solid income gains as the labor market tightens further. As for restaurant sales, there is now a more even distribution of consumer spending between durables, nondurables and services. This rotation in demand was one factor in the deceleration of restaurant spending growth. As this process slows, so should the restaurant sales growth decline.”
The uphill battle for sales traction among chains is also somewhat at odds with government data showing overall growth from food and drinking establishments. Government data doesn’t focus on specific restaurant segments, but one implication is that chains are losing the battle at a local level with independents and/or other food-away-from-home or take-out and delivery services. There is growing evidence that these options are taking share from legacy restaurant brands. If these scenarios play out, it could mean a meaningful shift in the chain restaurant “share of stomach”.
No discussion of restaurant performance is complete without a view of the labor market. In short, the difficulty operators face attracting and retaining talent cannot be overstated. With unemployment low, finding qualified employees to staff and manage restaurants is a huge focus of operators. Data from TDn2K’s People Report™ shows continued growth in restaurant jobs, but also points to hourly turnover figures that are higher than at any point since the recession. Management turnover is greater than 30 percent in every segment. Employees have multiple options in today’s environment and wage pressures (from minimum wage and tight supply) make it very difficult to get and retain employees. TDn2K’s analysis has long documented the linkage between turnover, compensation and operating results. Based on this, there is little question that recent restaurant performance is at least in part attributable to issues of staffing, training and execution.
Chicken Concepts Growing
Data from Technomic’s Digital Resource Library shows that some of the fastest-growing limited-service chains are chicken brands. Year-over-year sales in 2015 for the chicken industry rose eight percent, and Technomic predicts the chicken industry to sustain that rate of growth for 2016. Consumers are flocking to these chicken restaurants for better-for-you takes on an American favorite, whether that’s never-frozen chicken tenders or marinated grilled chicken.
Three prime examples of fast-growing chicken concepts are Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, PDQ and Nando’s.
Key takeaways include:
- Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has a simple, approachable menu of fresh food combined with a family-friendly, pop culture-themed setting has propelled Raising Cane’s growth, with 2015 year-over-year sales number of units up 26 percent and 18 percent, respectively.
- PDQ operates primarily in the south but is expanding to the north and west, leading to a 2015 year-over-year growth in sales and units of 61 percent and 52 percent, respectively.
- Nando’s has been expanding in the U.S., with year-over-year U.S. sales and unit growths of 33 percent and 40 percent, respectively, specializing in peri peri chicken in a range of spice levels.
Kids are Brand Leaders
Despite their size and obvious lack of discernible income, children have a disproportionate sway over household grocery purchases and decisions. And food marketers know it.
In the report Kids Food and Beverage Market in the U.S., 8th Edition, survey data from market research publisher Packaged Facts reveal that more than a quarter of parents (26 percent) learn about a new product as a request from their child. Kids aged 6+ in particular wield a considerable amount of purchasing power, but in reality brand loyalty is nurtured in children even younger.
“Children under age six are just as important to marketers as older children are because life-long dietary habits are established during this time period and brand loyalty begins,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts. “This suggests industry players should focus on product development designed to capture younger kids and gain allegiance from parents earlier to keep them involved with the brand throughout childhood.”
Ultimately the items that end up in parents’ shopping carts stem from an assortment of factors. Chief among them are:
- what brands or products are recognizable to the children;
- what parents deem healthiest and most nutritious for their children;
- what foods kids themselves enjoy eating;
- and, what’s recommended by parents’ peers either directly or through social media and online reviews.
The importance of this second factor—what foods are perceived as healthier options for children—can’t be understated. According to the “Shopping for Health 2016” report from the Food Marketing Institute and Rodale, a product’s healthfulness for children influences 91 percent of parents’ food and beverage purchases. On a related note, Packaged Facts found that nearly half (46 percent) of parents consider nutritional value as a top influencer. These findings indicate the degree to which health and diet are influencing choices within the market. As Packaged Facts found in the report, healthy innovation is emerging within every segment of the kids food market, even among categories not typically associated with health, like sweet and salty snacks.
Pokémon Go Profits
A survey from MGH found nearly 60 percent of smartphone users who have downloaded Pokémon Go were likely to enter a business offering Pokémon-branded discounts to players, 38 percent were likely to purchase a Pokemon-themed product offering, and 60 percent viewed businesses hosting Pokémon promotions favorably.
Robots Taking Over?
According to the latest market study released by Technavio, the global packaging robots market in the food and beverage industry was valued at USD 2.9 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach USD 4.59 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of almost 10 percent. The food and beverage industry is rapidly deploying four-axis SCARA and six-axis articulated robots and delta-style robots for accelerating primary packaging process. These robots are low-cost, have quicker ROI over fixed automation, and offer a higher degree of flexibility, which are of prime importance to the food and beverage industry. Industrial robots occupy less floor space and can be moved to entirely different process, thereby reducing equipment investment. Hence, they are majorly adopted by SME manufacturers in their packaging process of foods and beverages.
The sale of packaging robot in the food and beverage industry is expected to increase during the forecast period, especially in automation of packaged meat. Across the world, between 2013 and 2015, the customers’ preference for processed and packaged meat has risen by 10 percent. The major advantage witnessed by the customers in this type of procurement is in the details provided on the product labeling. To address the increased demand from the end-consumers, meat processing companies are focusing on optimizing and automating their process lines.
Mobile Payment Security Trends
Technavio’s latest report on the global mobile payment security software market provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2016-2020. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
Amrita Choudhury, lead analyst from Technavio, specializing in research on IT security sector, says, “Due to the growing instances of theft of confidential financial data, a number of customers are adopting mobile payment security software for mobile devices. This will prevent fraudsters from gaining access to credit and debit card details as the entire payment transaction requires authorization between the merchant’s acquirer and issuing bank.”
The top three emerging trends driving the global mobile payment security software market according to Technavio ICT research analysts are:
- Introduction of mobile biometrics
- Development of multi-factor authentication
- Increased adoption of multimodal biometrics
- Introduction of mobile biometrics
“With an increase in the use of mobile devices for conducting financial and e-commerce transactions, the security of personal data has become a major concern. A number of biometric technologies such as fingerprint recognition, voice recognition, iris recognition, signature recognition, keystroke recognition, and facial recognition are being integrated into mobile devices, which will ensure authorized access to personal data transmitted through wireless networks. It will ensure the security of data and prevent fraudulent activities,” according to Amrita.
In the retail sector, the integration of biometric technologies in mobile devices can be used to recognize registered customers and to bill their credit card or debit account. For instance, mobile biometrics is being used for a number of POS applications to authenticate end-users.
Mobile biometrics is used for banking transactions to authorize individuals. For instance, the Royal Bank of Scotland allows its customers to use Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor to log into their bank accounts, which will reduce the chances of fraud.
Development of multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication is a verification technique that uses two or more authentication methods. This acts as an additional security layer and prevents unauthorized access to financial details of customers. Multi-factor authentication solutions incorporate the use of various authentication techniques such as phone-based authentication, smart cards, and biometric technologies to authenticate payment transactions on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It does not require the installation of any hardware. Fingerprint biometric technology can be used with phone-based authentication and smart card-based authentication to authenticate an individual for mobile payments.
Authentication systems were developed initially to gain access to a particular system. They used various access control mechanisms, which were followed by stand-alone applications with passwords. However, the use of these stand-alone applications was difficult and lacked security as they involved multiple passwords that were open to the public. Advances in technology led to the introduction of many devices such as PDAs, wireless computers, and smartphones, which had access to distributed applications. Technological advances have weakened the process of password authentication, increasing the risks of cyber threats and security attacks.
Increased adoption of multimodal biometrics
“With advances in technology, multimodal biometrics is increasingly used on mobile devices for individual identification and verification. Multimodal biometrics is used for making mobile payments in retail and Payment Card sectors. Multimodal biometrics, which is an integration of a number of biometric technologies such as fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, and voice recognition, can be used to prevent unauthorized access to mobile transactions,” adds Amrita.
Fraud Reduction Efforts
Reducing credit and debit card fraud by implementing EMV chip card acceptance has become retailers’ top payment issue in 2016, but retailers are also busy with new data security enhancements such as point-to-point encryption and tokenization to better protect payment card data. That’s according to a new study by the National Retail Federation and Forrester that surveys CIOs and technology executives at 59 large and mid-sized retail companies and is the first partnership between the two that focuses on retail industry payment issues.
The State of Retail Payments 2016 study – subtitled “Securing Consumer Payment Data Continues to Dominate the Payments Agenda” – also found that EMV adoption has been hampered by bottlenecks throughout the U.S. payment system and that the emphasis on security has pushed aside other priorities such as mobile payment.
When asked to name their top three payment challenges of the past year, 76 percent of retailers surveyed cited EMV as the top contender and 46 percent cited chargeback issues often related to EMV, while 37 percent pointed to implementation of security efforts like encryption and tokenization. In response to these challenges, 86 percent of retailers surveyed have implemented or expect to implement the new Europay MasterCard Visa chip card system by the end of 2016.
The study said “many retailers are working feverishly” to complete the EMV transition but “payment vendors have not been able to keep pace” with certifying EMV equipment installed by retailers. With some retailers yet to install EMV equipment and many EMV installations that have been done awaiting certification, the study found retailers have been challenged with a higher-than-usual number of chargebacks; one company said chargebacks are so high they have “affected our bottom line.” Under liability changes imposed by the card industry last October, merchants are now required to absorb fraud costs through chargebacks when a card is counterfeit and the retailer does not have a certified chip card reader in operation. Previously, for in-store transactions counterfeit card fraud was usually absorbed by the bank that issued the card.
Since EMV is intended to ensure that the card is not counterfeit but does not directly protect card data itself, retailers are working on other steps that protect card data when it is being transmitted between the retailer and card processor or stored in retailers’ computer systems. The study found 93 percent of retailers surveyed expect to have point-to-point encryption in place by the end of 2017 and that 61 percent expect the same for multichannel tokenization.
With attention focused on security, retailers are taking a measured approach to new forms of payment such as mobile and digital wallets, with only 17 percent citing it as one of their top issues for the year. Near-field communication used by many mobile payment systems is built into most EMV terminals, so 72 percent expect to be equipped for NFC by the end of 2017. But 68 percent plan to accept only one “or a very few” types of digital wallets rather the half-dozen vying for acceptance.
Of the major players in mobile and emerging payments, 76 percent of retailers plan to accept Apple Pay by the end of 2017, compared with 59 percent for PayPal. Others face an uphill battle, with 53 percent saying they have no interest in Venmo, 43 percent not interested in Alipay and 38 percent with no interest in Pay With Amazon.
Going for Grains
A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Nutrition Sciences reveals the positive health and weight benefits associated with grain foods consumption. For the first time, researchers evaluated the association between various grain food patterns and nutrient intake, as well as health outcomes, in U.S. adults. Results found that people who ate certain grain foods have better overall diet quality, greater intakes of nutrients that are otherwise lacking in American diets and lower average body weight than those who don’t predominantly eat grains.
Researchers looked at grain food consumption and compared nutrient intakes and health metrics against those who don’t regularly eat grains. Grain-based foods, both in whole and enriched forms, contribute vital nutrients — including fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin D and folic acid. These nutrients are shortfalls for many Americans and in this study were found to be lacking even further for those who avoid grains. Therefore, eliminating grain foods (whole or enriched) can have negative effects on diet quality.
Additionally, researchers found that adults who get most of their grains from pasta, cooked cereals and rice weigh nearly seven pounds less and on average have a one-inch smaller waist circumference than those who don’t regularly eat grains.
Additional findings from the observational research included:
- People who consumed certain grains had greater intake of fiber, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D than people who consumed no main grain foods.
- Adults who consumed a grain pattern predominantly consisting of yeast breads and rolls had lower total sugar intake when compared to those adults who eat almost no grains.
- Adults who consumed a grain pattern largely made up of cereals, pasta/cooked cereals/rice and mixed grains had a better overall diet quality compared to adults who consumed no main grain foods.
- Adults who consumed a grain pattern largely consisting of cereals, pasta/cooked cereals/rice and mixed grains consumed less saturated fats and sugars than people who consumed no main grain foods.
- Grains provide vital nutrients for women of childbearing age, specifically iron and folate.
The study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005–2010, which consisted of over 14,000 U.S. adults > (greater than or equal to) 19 years old.
Healthy Eating Habits?
Four out of every 10 Americans consider their eating habits to be very good or excellent, while one quarter said their diets were fair or poor, according to the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll. Truven, an IBM company, and NPR conduct a bimonthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues.
In January 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture updated the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including removal of the previous limitation on dietary cholesterol. The latest survey asked respondents for their awareness of the guidelines and their opinions about and personal experience with their diet.
Overall, 41 percent of respondents said they considered their eating habits to be either very good or excellent. Twenty-five percent (one quarter) said their diet was either fair or poor.
When asked about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, just 26 percent were aware of the change in the dietary cholesterol recommendation. Thirty-five percent said they were confused about what kinds of oils and fats to consume for a healthy diet, a rate that tends to decrease with increasing age, level of education, and level of income.
Of respondents who were aware of the new guidelines, 22 percent said they were eating more foods that are high in animal fat, while 14 percent they are eating less of such foods. Additionally, 27 percent of all respondents said they are eating more whole grains than they were six months ago, 11 percent said they are eating less, and 62 percent said there has been no change.
“In addition to a distinct lack of awareness about the latest dietary recommendations, these results indicate some confusion when it comes to dietary choices,” said Michael Taylor, M.D., chief medical officer at Truven Health Analytics. “Approximately 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese according to the Centers for Disease Control, yet our survey shows that 41 percent of Americans say their diets are good. We appear to be seeing a disconnect between perception and reality when it comes to healthy eating.”
Plant Proteins Interest Grows
In the report Food Formulation and Ingredient Trends: Plant Proteins, Packaged Facts’ survey data found that younger U.S. adults are especially likely to specifically seek out vegetarian protein sources. Some 37 percent of adults between ages 25 to 39 seek out plant protein while 22 percent of adults under age 25 claim to do the same. Only eight percent of Americans age 55+ seek out vegetarian protein sources. Alarmingly less than 20 percent intentionally seek out protein of any kind (be it animal or vegetable). Packaged Facts recognizes the low level of protein-seeking behavior indicated by those ages 55 and up as an opportunity for food and beverage manufacturers to target and educate this group about the benefits of protein in general to help address sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass that occurs with advancing years.
Packaged Facts points out that efforts to help Americans reduce meat consumption are evident in the number of biotech-savvy companies now developing more sophisticated meat alternatives, primarily vegan, and expansion of existing brands and product lines offering meatless products. Packaged Facts anticipates that the recent surge in demand for pea protein concentrates and isolates is indicative of the future for pulses generally in the coming years. Not insignificant is that 2016 was declared the International Year of Pulses by the United Nations at a time when hummus popularity is at an all-time high in the United States, helping to increase consumer awareness of chickpeas and other pulses. Beyond pulses, ancient grains, seeds and nuts continue to be protein ingredients of choice for many processors looking for whole food protein sources that add desirable textural characteristics and enhance overall appearance. Brown rice protein is picking up steam and newer-to-the-U.S.-market plant protein ingredients gaining attention for their nutritional value and sustainability include hemp, sacha inchi and aquatic plants.
Cost Driving Edible Insect Market
According to a new report published by Persistence Market Research (PMR): in terms of value, the global edible insects market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 6.1 percent during the forecast period and is expected to account for US$ 722.9 Mn by 2024 end. Orthoptera (cricket, grasshopper, and locusts) segment is projected to register a CAGR of 8.1 percent over the forecast period, driven by rising demand for cricket granola bars, cricket crackers, cricket cookies, and cricket chocolates. Of the various edible insect type products, the beetle’s segment is estimated to account for approximately 30.8 percent share of the global market share in 2016, and caterpillars segment is estimated to account for 17.9 percent share. Global Edible Insects Market growth, mainly driven by Low Production Cost of Insect Products as Compared to Beef, Chicken, or Pork.
This report covers trends driving segments and offers analysis and insights of the potential of the edible insects market in specific regions. Markets in Europe and North America are expected to register highest CAGR between 2016 and 2024, accounting for 7.3 percent and 6.9 percent respectively. In value terms, APAC contributed the highest revenue to the global edible insects market, while MEA accounted for 28.4 percent market share in 2015 and is expected to account for 28.9 percent market share by 2024. Increasing consumer awareness in MEA about the benefits attached with consumption of edible insects is increasing fueling demand for such products over the forecast period.
On the basis of product type, the market is segmented into a product as a whole and product as an ingredient. Product as a whole segment is further sub-segmented into steam or fried, raw and BBQ. As an ingredient segment is sub-segmented into drinks, insect confectionery, snack and baked products, and others. The global market is driven by low capital investment, rapid growth in global population, alternatives for egg and dairy proteins, ease of harvesting and processing, low disease risk and food safety, less land for farming, and lower water consumption.
On the basis of insect type, the market is segmented into beetles, caterpillar, hymenoptera, orthoptera, tree bugs, and others. Orthoptera and tree bugs segments are expected to account for relatively high CAGRs of 8.1 percent and 7.3 percent respectively during the forecast period.
Insect rearing involves low capital investment as compared to that needed for another conventional livestock rearing such as cattle, swine, and chicken. Substantial increase in global population and decreasing resources are other factors expected to drive demand for alternative food sources. According to United Nations, global population in 2050 is expected to reach 9 billion, significantly outgrowing existing food resources. Some individuals cannot palate egg, milk, or soy- derived protein due to allergic reactions. For example, milk sugar or lactose can cause severe allergic reactions that result in gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, bloating, diarrhea etc. Insects contain high protein and amino acids, due to which some manufacturers add insect protein to various food products. Insect protein is organic and contains no artificial colors, sweeteners or fillers. Insects have high growth and feed conversion rates and low environmental footprint over their entire lifecycle. Insects are found across the globe and reproduce very rapidly. Farming and harvesting of edible insects provide farmers entrepreneurship opportunities across all economies. Insects provide a cheap source of food and can be reared to cater to the low-income population growth. These activities can directly improve diets and provide cash income through sales of excess produce as street food, according to the report.
Subway’s Top Sandwiches Around the World
Australia: Chicken Classic
A breaded chicken fillet that’s slightly spicy along with a standard build of vegetables.
Brazil: Smoked Chicken with Cream Cheese
Similar to chicken salad, this sandwich is made with cream cheese instead of mayonnaise and is one of the most popular on the menu.
China: Italian Sausage
Italian-style sausage grilled with cheese, vegetables and sauce.
France: Steakhouse Melt
Seasoned beef, toasted with vegetables, cheese and a sauce of your choice.
Germany: Chicken Fajita
Chicken strips and fajita seasoning.
India: Aloo Patty
A potato patty seasoned with special herbs and spices with your choice of crisp fresh veggies, on freshly baked bread.
Mexico: BBQ Rib
Famous short rib pork meat seasoned with BBQ, cheese and your favorite selection of vegetables.
United Kingdom: Chicken Tikka
Succulent chicken breasts pre-marinated in chicken tikka paste. An originally Indian sauce, tikka is usually creamy, spicy and orange colored. It’s also recommended that you order hot chili sauce.
United States: Rotisserie Chicken
Made with tender, hand-pulled all white meat chicken, raised without antibiotics with your choice of crisp veggies, on freshly baked bread.
FoodTech Opportunities in India
With rapidly growing food market in India, which stood at over US$400 billion in 2015, the food ordering and delivery companies are capitalizing on the opportunity to increase their “evolving-faster-than-ever” customer base. Mounting Internet Penetration, snowballing smartphone users, palate pleasing food offerings along with convenience associated with ordering food online to propel the Foodtech Market in India.
Recently published report by TechSci Research, “India Foodtech Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2021”, talks about the online food ordering and delivery market in India. Earlier foodtech was referred as food processing and manufacturing technology, but now foodtech is defined as online food ordering and delivery service market. With splurging investments and funding into this market space, foodtech companies have been able to offer online food ordering services like never before. Internet is being crowded with the companies offering food delivery services online day in & out. With huge demand for food and consistently growing customer base in the country, the growth associated with this market is anticipated to be highly lucrative.
Surging disposable income, increasing popularity of Double-Income-No-Kids (DINKs) trend in India, growing internet users, which stood at over 27 percent of the total population in 2015, and rising sales of smartphones, which were over 167 million in 2015 as compared to 123 million in previous year, are few of the major factors which can attributed to the growth of foodtech market in India. the concept of ordering food online is gaining popularity due to convenience being provided by the companies in terms of delivering food at the doorstep of the customer, option of alternate payment methods and attractive discounts, reward points & cash back offers which are being offered by the company. Restaurants and Cafes, are also preferring the online mode as operational cost incurred in maintaining the infrastructure, call center and other expenses is reduced to half when a restaurant takes online orders only.
College students, working couples and office goers are the key target audience for foodtech companies. Increasing working population in the country on the back of improving economy, growing number of college students with rising infrastructural developments in education sector, and, with increasing employment opportunities, surging working professionals are few of the key demand generators for foodtech market in India which are anticipated to boost the growth in this market during the forecast period of 2016-2021.
The foodtech players can be categorized into two groups – Online restaurant based companies and Food aggregator companies. The online restaurant based segment is dominating the market with a revenue share of over 70 percent in 2015. On the back of longer presence in the market, check on quality of food items, loyalty and trust of consumer towards the restaurants, etc., this segment is forecast to remain dominant during the next five years in India foodtech market. Players like McDonalds, Zomato, Domino’s Pizza (a franchisee brand of Jubilant FoodWorks) and Pizza Hut (a licensed brand of Yum Foods) are the major companies which contributed the majority revenue share in India foodtech market in 2015. These companies are expected to maintain their dominance during the projected period. In 2015, South and West regions of the country emerged as the major demand generator, followed by North, in the foodtech market whereas, by 2018, North region is anticipated to surpass West and forecast to hold second place in revenue share contribution in foodtech market in India.
Food Safety Training
The 2016 Global Food Safety Training Survey responses indicate that companies are strongly committed to food safety training. In fact, 88 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “Based on the current management support, I am able to provide the needed food safety training to drive appropriate, consistent food safety behaviors.”
Alchemy Systems, in partnership with the Campden BRI, SQF Institute, British Retail Consortium, SGS, and TSI released the 2016 results of a global survey of food companies about their food safety training practices and challenges.
However, many companies struggle to translate that commitment to actual employee behavior on the plant floor. In the survey, 62 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “Despite our efforts in food safety classroom training, we still have employees not following our food safety program on the plant floor.”
Food safety leaders around the world agree that effective employee training can have a direct impact on food safety and product quality. The survey shows that 75 percent of respondents believe that employees would be more productive if their food safety program were consistently applied. They also noted that the top three benefits from effective training are improved food safety culture, improved product quality, and fewer food safety incidents.
Companies are devoting significant time to food safety training. About 75 percent of employees get four or more hours per year of training per year. For supervisors and managers, 50 percent get nine or more hours of training per year. However, 44 percent of companies are creating an exposure by not mandating the same training for their contract and temporary workers.
The survey indicates several areas where training could be improved for better comprehension and engagement. For example, 34 percent of respondents indicated that “lack of understanding” by workers is the top training-related audit deficiency. The training materials may not be suitable for a highly diverse workforce with multi-language learners and varying education levels.
Another training-related audit deficiency is the “lack of refresher training” for frontline workers. Academic studies show that learners forget the content quickly and must be provided with booster training to keep important safety concepts top-of-mind.
The survey was sent to over 25,000 small to large companies representing a range of food sectors including beverage, dairy, meat, retail, packaged foods, produce, and bakery.
Hot Dog Trends
The growing demand for low-calorie, organic food products is a trend gaining much prominence across the globe. Looking to avoid the risk of overweight and obesity, an increasing number of consumers are now demanding organic versions of hot dogs and sausages as well. Transparency Market Research identifies this trend to be immensely lucrative for players.
“Continuously engaging in R&D activities for the development of new products in the meat and meat products segment is also a successful strategy adopted by several companies,” the author of the study said. A recent example would be the introduction of hot dog ATMs, wherein the customer places their order on the screen and the selected food item is moved from the refrigerator to the microwave to deliver fresh hotdogs in just a few minutes.
Hot dogs and sausages are among the most preferred convenience foods for kids and youth around the world and as a result, households with kids and college students form the most attractive consumer group for hot dogs and sausages. The growing population of individuals between the ages of 20 and 30 is a key factor driving this market.
“The demand for hot dogs and sausages varies from region to region and by season as well,” the TMR analyst observes. For instance, holiday months see a surge in demand for breakfast sausages. Major sporting events in the U.S. also contribute to the rising demand, according to a survey by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. The consumption of hot dogs and sausages during major leagues and at prominent ballparks in the U.S. is much higher than at any other time of the year.
“The soaring incidence of obesity around the world is a key factor curbing the consumption of hot dogs and sausages as consumers shift toward healthier and less fatty foods,” the author of the study finds.
In terms of revenue, the opportunity in the global hot dogs and sausages market was pegged at US$64.7 bn in 2014 and is estimated to be worth US$80.4 bn by 2021, expanding at a CAGR of 3.1 percent from 2015 to 2021. By volume, the market for hot dogs and sausages is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 1.8 percent during the forecast period.
Among the different types of products, cocktail sausages led the hot dogs and sausages market by volume as well as revenue in 2014. The global cocktail sausages market is likely to reach US$19.2 bn by 2021. Among the different types of meat, pork was the leading revenue generator for the hot dogs and sausages market. By geography, Asia Pacific led the global hot dogs and sausages market in 2014 and the region is expected to retain its position through 2021.
Hot dogs and sausages are made from a variety of meats: pork, beef, chicken, mutton, and lamb. Among these, although pork led the overall market, chicken is identified as the most attractive segment for the hot dogs and sausages market due to growing health awareness among consumers. There has been a global shift in consumer preference from red meat to chicken since the cholesterol content in red meat is higher than that in chicken. Furthermore, chicken does not contain trans-fat, which is one of the main factors triggering coronary heart diseases. This is expected to increase the demand for chicken hot dogs and sausages during the forecast period.
Additionally, chicken is comparatively cheaper and there are negligible religious barriers or taboos associated with its consumption. This is as an important factor in the growth of the chicken hot dogs and sausages market, especially in the Middle East. On the other hand, pork is an attractive segment in the hot dogs and sausages market in Asia Pacific, especially in China.
Water, Water, Everywhere
The tide is rising for bottled water. The better-for-you beverage’s popularity is gaining ground on its sugary and carbonated counterparts. As a result, soda sales, in particular, have failed to pop like they did in past years. In the report Food Formulation Trends: Ingredients Consumers Avoid, 2nd Edition, Packaged Facts found that it’s not just the sugar in soda that consumers want to avoid, it’s also the excess calories. Consumers checking on the calories in the foods they purchase have most typically chosen to skip certain foods that are high in calories in favor of lower calorie substitutes.
Traditionally cutting calories meant having a diet soda instead of a regular soda or opting for a salad over a pasta dish. However in recent years drinking water or low or no calories beverages when hungry rather than eating food has emerged as a trend with a considerable following. Packaged Facts data reveal that 3 out of 4 consumers are reducing their calorie intake by this method—including older consumers, who are more likely than younger consumers to choose this method of cutting calories, as are college graduates, consumers with higher incomes, and women.
Another factor boosting bottle water sales is consumer concern over the safety of their top water. Lead contamination in drinking water in Michigan, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. has some questioning the reliability of America’s water infrastructure. Bottled water is deemed by many to be a safer alternative—assuming marketers have been transparent about where their water is pumped from.
Bottled water’s trending status doesn’t, however, indicate the demise of the U.S. soda market. It’s important to remember that while food manufacturers want to please those consumers joining the “free from” and healthy lifestyle movements, they still need to satisfy those consumers who demand products that can be categorized as less healthy than necessary, according to Packaged Facts.
Foods with added sugars, especially sugary beverages, are a case in point. Manufacturers of carbonated sodas and waters and juice drinks with added sweeteners make far more money from those products than from their sugar-free products. As governments move to impose higher taxes on sugary beverages, the industry inevitably does all that it can top resist. The sugary beverage companies are faced with consumers having to pay more for these products and the possibility of losing sales as a result, notes Sprinkle. Don’t be surprised to see a greater influx of flavored, sparkling and even caffeinated water.
Expanding Demand for Cups and Lids
Demand for cups and lids in the U.S. is projected to expand 3.9 percent per year to $10.6 billion in 2020, according to Cups & Lids, a new study from The Freedonia Group. Gains will be supported by food trends that favor convenience and smaller portions. Unit demand will be helped by the growing focus on specialty beverages among foodservice operators and the expansion of food menus to include soup, oatmeal, and other sides. Preference for premium coffee and fruit beverages will bolster value gains as these drinks typically use more expensive cups and lids to accommodate whipped toppings or showcase the beverage’s color.
Packaging cups will post the fastest gains through 2020, primarily due to the fact that products packaged in cups typically are smaller portions, positioned specifically to appeal to the time-conscious consumer. According to analyst Katie Wieser, “As it becomes more common to snack throughout the day rather than prepare meals, healthy foods that are pre-packaged and portable will continue to gain favor.” Packaging products in this way can also drive revenues for food manufacturers, as it allows items to be sold at a premium. Fresh fruits and vegetables have seen some of the largest gains attributable to this trend. Cups used for coffee and tea will see the fastest growth of any major packaging market, and cups for dairy products will continue to show favorable increases due to the popularity of premium yogurt.
Drinking cups made of paper, plastic, or foam hold the largest share of this market. Gains for drinking cups will be slightly smaller than the cup and lid average due to the maturity of many applications. However, demand for hot beverage cups will see healthy gains, driven by the popularity of premium coffee and the use of high-value insulated paper cups. The mix of raw materials has changed considerably over the past decade, primarily for environmental reasons, as a number of foodservice chains have transitioned away from polystyrene foam and some cities have introduced bans on the sale or use of this foam. The largest beneficiary of these changes has been the paper cup, which is expected to show the fastest gains through 2020 and will continue to hold the largest share of the drinking cup market. There has also been wider use of clear plastic cups, which allow for greater visibility of the beverage.
Global Demand for Wine Packaging
Global demand for wine packaging including containers, closures, and accessories is projected to increase 2.3 percent per year to $22.8 billion in 2020, according to World Wine Packaging: Containers, Closures & Accessories, a new study from The Freedonia Group.
Growth will be sustained by continued, albeit moderate, increases in global wine production, despite declining per capita consumption rates in Europe, which accounted for about 60 percent of consumption and nearly 65 percent of production in 2015. Ongoing changes in where wine is produced and how it is packaged will lead to significant opportunities for newer packaging formats.
Glass bottles have long been the preferred wine container, as they have excellent barrier properties and can protect wine nearly indefinitely. Also, glass bottles are considered by many to be an essential part of the wine experience. As a result, glass continues to dominate the container segment, accounting for about 85 percent of the global total in 2015. However, this share is declining. Glass bottles are heavy, adding to shipping costs. Also, most of the still wine produced around the world is consumed not long after it is made, meaning that while many consumers might prefer bottles, they are not always necessary. These factors have led to the rise of alternatives, including bag-in-box containers, aseptic cartons, plastic bottles, cans, and cups.
Europe will continue to be the largest regional wine packaging market for the foreseeable future, while North America and the Asia/Pacific region will offer better growth opportunities through 2020. In North America, growth in US wine production will be well above the global average, mainly due to the increased popularity of wine, which is now seen more as an everyday beverage rather than something only for holidays or special events. In the Asia/Pacific region, China has become one of the largest producers and consumers of wine, although consumption rates remain very low by global standards. Australia and New Zealand are the other major wine packaging markets in the region.
Australia illustrates the duality of the wine packaging market in countries where much of the wine produced is exported. Wine for the country’s domestic market is often in bag-in-box containers, which dominate young wines sold at lower prices. While glass bottles are still widely used, they are usually sealed with a screw cap instead of a cork. At the same time, much of Australia’s exported wine is packaged to cater to preferences of consumers in destination markets, some of which, such as the UK, are generally receptive to wine that is not classically bottled in glass and sealed with a cork.
Shipping wine is expensive, made more so by its packaging. This has led to a move to lighter weight containers, including lighter glass bottles, but it has also increased the appeal of shipping wine in bulk. A number of major wine producing countries — including Spain, Chile, South Africa, and Australia — ship a considerable share of the wine they export in bulk. This wine is packaged in or near the country in which it will be consumed and has led to a significant shift in where packaging is used. As a result, the wine packaging markets in some countries, such as Chile and South Africa, are small relative to their production levels. Conversely, the packaging market in the UK is fairly appreciable despite very little domestic wine production.
Antimicrobial Packaging Market
The global antimicrobial packaging market is expected to reach $11.92 billion by 2024, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Growing demand for confectionery and bakery products is expected to drive the global antimicrobial packaging market. Apart from bakery products, these agents are widely used in meat, poultry, seafood grain seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
Antimicrobial packaging releases active agents into food products which help to inhibit the growth of microorganisms and increase the shelf life. These releasing compounds maintain the food quality and reduce the need for preservatives and additives.
Antimicrobial agents derived from synthetic pathogenic sources are not found to satisfy consumers as they demand products extracted from natural sources. Such a factor is expected to hinder the overall market growth over the next eight years.
Further key findings from the report suggest:
Organic acid were the leading antimicrobial agents consumed and accounted for 37.3 percent of total market volume in 2015. Bacteriocins are expected to witness the highest growth of 5.4 percent over the forecast period.
Pouches emerged as the most dominant pack product and accounted for 39.2 percent of global volume in 2015. The segment is expected to witness similar trend in the near future due to its usage across different industries. Pouches are also expected to witness the highest growth of 5.5 percent over the forecast period.
Food and beverages were the most dominant application segment and accounted for 44.5 percent of total market volume in 2015. Stringent regulations regarding food safety across various regional markets have led to the increased penetration in the industry. The segment is also expected to witness the highest growth of 5.3 percent from 2016 to 2024. Moreover, controlled release packaging technology has been gaining wide importance for food packaging applications due to its impeccable response with respect to time.
Engaging Youth for Social Change
Today’s youth are looking for variety of authentic, inclusive, participatory experiences and their interest in social change mirrors that trend, according to a new report from No Kid Hungry and the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation.
An online survey of 138 youth between the ages of 10 and 25 years led to a series of six recommendations for how to engage youth in the fight to end childhood hunger. While specific to childhood hunger, these best practices can be applied by any nonprofit organization working to engage youth in a social cause.
To get youth involved in your cause:
- Ask them how they want to help.
- Be genuinely inclusive.
- Work through schools as a means to get youth involved.
- Show appreciation for their perspective.
- Be responsive and authentic.
- Use the right communications platforms.
No Kid Hungry and the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation developed a new toolkit with an understanding of “what works” in engaging youth, with tools that can be used to broaden the base and immediately engage youth support in the fight to end childhood hunger. The toolkit is available at NoKidHungry.org/YouthToolkit.