Foodservice companies fight every day to break through the clutter to reach the consumer. Consumers are inundated with a barrage of messaging from social media, digital, print, radio, and television—and the list goes on.

How do we as an industry find the white space to grab the consumer’s attention and share of stomach? One answer can be through special innovative menu items which the industry terms Limited-Time Offers (LTOs). These innovative menu items can help a restaurant operator create news, drive product innovation and test new menu flavors. 

“LTO Demand” was just one of the 17 topics studied in 2016 by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association’s Consumer Planning Program (CPP). The CPP, in partnership with Datassential, focuses on understanding the consumer mindset so that we as manufacturers can anticipate trends and exceed both consumer and operator expectations. 

This proprietary research is striving to understand the “why behind the what” of foodservice consumer behavior.  This program, now in its fifth year, has provided manufacturers and operators the insights they need to address this white space and ultimately win the consumer dollar.    

We encourage you to join your insights driven peers and become a member of the IFMA Consumer Planning Program. To learn more about IFMA, CPP and all the benefits of participating in this annual research effort, please visit