To keep up with the blurring distinctions between restaurants and retailers, Technomic has expanded its online Consumer Brand Metrics tracking tool to include ongoing consumer assessments and performance ratings for more than 40 retail chains.
According to a news release, the expansion aims to help suppliers and operators understand the needs and behaviors of consumers sourcing ready-to-eat meals, regardless of channel.
"The CBM expansion empowers operators and suppliers with the consumer insights and information they need to track brand performance across channels and to maintain a competitive advantage," EVP Darren Tristano said in the release. "No other program provides the breadth of attributes tracked across both restaurant and retail channels."
CBM users can now compare consumers' evaluations of restaurants and retailers on specific attributes of the foodservice experience, such as food quality, staff knowledge, ambiance and takeout capabilities, based on their most recent visit to the chain. For example, about as many consumers rate the beverage quality of QuickChek (96 percent) and Wawa (96 percent) as good or very good as those visiting Jamba Juice (98 percent) and Caribou Coffee (95 percent).
Users can also build a cross-channel competitive set from the consumer's point of view and learn which restaurants and retailers consumers consider as alternatives to visiting each chain. For example, 25 percent of consumers who purchased prepared foods at Whole Foods Market on a recent visit said they would have otherwise visited a restaurant on this occasion; specific restaurants mentioned as alternatives include Panera Bread, Pei Wei Asian Diner and Chili's Grill & Bar.
The data can also be used more broadly to understand what's important to consumers at different types of retailers and restaurants, according to the release. For example, 56 percent of consumers say it's important for traditional supermarkets to offer natural and organic prepared foods, compared to just 44 percent of consumers who seek similar menu items from fast casual restaurants and 39 percent from quick-service restaurants.
Data for more than 125 leading restaurant chains and 40 retailers is available in Technomic's Consumer Brand Metrics online database.