While chicken still holds its status as the centre-of-plate star for both consumers and operators, demands are shifting. More consumers are looking past poultry to seafood, vegetarian and vegan options. Utilizing proprietary intelligence and exclusive consumer data, Technomic's Canadian Centre of the Plate Consumer Trend Report identifies and analyzes menu and consumer trends impacting the foodservice industry today.

"Although the most familiar and widely accepted proteins are still top of mind, today's consumers, especially younger consumers, are interested in trying new options," explains Kelly Weikel, Technomic director of consumer insights. "This includes unique spins on tried-and-true offerings and a greater openness to try seafood, vegetarian and vegan fare. Adding these options can help minimize the veto vote and meet the needs of future consumers."

In addition to tracking consumers' consumption behavior, the Canadian Centre of the Plate Consumer Trend Report compiles industry data and spotlights foodservice concepts with innovative centre-of-the-plate protein programs. Findings include:

  • A majority of consumers eat chicken (89%, beef (81%) and pork (68%) as an entree at least once every 90 days.
  • Seafood tops the list of the fastest-growing entree proteins, with haddock (15%), prawns (14%) and lobster (4%) increasing on Top 250 limited- and full-service restaurants.
  • The most preferred entree by category is hamburger for beef (76%), rotisserie chicken for chicken dishes (61%) and mixed vegetables for vegetarian dishes (61%.)