Changing out of home dining habits giving rise to new meal opportunities

Key Points

  • The continuing evolution of Australians’ eating-out habits is providing the opportunity to profit from new meal opportunities
  • The market segment for both breakfast and brunch is on the increase while lunch has declined
  • The snacking segment is also growing rapidly, driven by the demands from workers for ‘grab and go’ food
  • Afternoon snacking makes up the largest component of the segment but morning and evening snacking are both on the rise, with demographic differences between them

IN THE PAST five years there’s been a change in Australians’ eating-out habits – as traditional dining habits continue to evolve, creating new meal opportunities for foodservice businesses. Here are five key points to consider in planning your menus, choosing your opening hours and targeting your customer demographic:

·      Australians are now the biggest eater-outers of breakfast in the western world, according to market research from FI Foresight. This research also shows that the breakfast and brunch segments are the fastest-growing meal opportunities.

·      Eating out for breakfast and brunch has grown by more than five per cent since 2013 while lunch has declined. The main beneficiaries of this trend have been cafes, which have been able to expand their menus from two to three meal segments per day, and restaurants – many of which are now offering all day dining.

·      Along with the rise of breakfast and brunch has come a growth in the snacking segment, which now holds a 26 per cent share of the foodservice market according to research from The NPD Group. The trend towards increased snacking is being driven by workplace consumers wanting something to ‘grab and go’, for which a slice of pizza is ideally suited – it’s easy to hold in the hand and it can contain nutrition-rich toppings.

·      Morning snacking commands 38 per cent of market share and contributes to 5 per cent market growth. Afternoon snacking holds 44 per cent share and evening snacking is on the rise with 18 per cent share.

Customers aged 50+ comprise the majority of morning snackers while millennials are the core consumers for both afternoon and evening.