June 5/Chicago/CNW -- Technomic's latest look at Canada's cafe segment -- encompassing fast-casual bakery cafes and quick-service coffee cafes -- tells a mixed story of patronage and opportunity. Bakery cafes are experiencing relatively low overall traffic: 29% of consumers say they never visit them. Coffee cafes, on the other hand, boast remarkably high patronage: 62% of all consumers visit at least weekly.

"Coffee cafes have carved out a dominant niche in the industry," says Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic. "However, the fast-casual bakery-cafe category has yet to fully evolve as a restaurant segment. Addressing consumer preferences for convenience, menu variety, healthy offerings and top-quality food ingredients are all central to driving traffic at this type of cafe concept."

To help foodservice executives understand the latest behaviours, preferences and attitudes of cafe consumers, Technomic has developed its "Canadian Bakery & Coffee Cafe Consumer Trend Report." Key findings include:

  • Among the 29% of consumers who never visit bakery cafes, most report that there are no convenient locations near them, and open-ended data indicates that some consumers are simply not familiar with bakery cafes.
  • A third of consumers (34%) have been visiting coffee cafes more often over the past year and cite convenience and speed of service as key factors in encouraging their increased patronage of these concepts.
  • Breakfast sandwiches are a top menu trend in the cafe segment: they have increased by 44% on Canadian coffee cafe menus over the past year. Half of consumers surveyed would occasionally order these sandwiches for breakfast at bakery (48%) and coffee (51%) cafes, if offered.