Combo meals, the order-by-number bundled meals that make ordering easy for customers and yielded larger orders for restaurant operators, are down about one billion servings since 2007, more than 12 percent, according toThe NPD Group, a market research firm.
The report finds that smaller lunch and supper meals,more and better value offerings, price concerns, and composition of meal are among the contributors to combo meal declines.
But while the reportfinds that consumer price concerns and value menus largely are perceived as driving the decline, the content of themeals has also caused consumers to cut back.NPD found that while consumers like that combo meals are easy to order, a good value and a complete meal, many said they would make changes to the contents of the meals, in particular, the side items.
“Operators can increase combo meal orders by enabling consumers to pick ‘n choose side items and by offering more side options or rotating the meal options on a regular basis,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst, “Even with the combo meal decline, there is still a large group of consumers who would order the meals, which means there is an opportunity to renew their interest by giving them what they want.”
Posted by Lauren Grelle-Athanasiou