Retail Foodservice

Familiar Flavors Remain A Favorite Across Generational Lines

Tips for attracting every age group
Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock

When shopping—either at a grocery store or a convenience store—consumers tend to look for foods they’re familiar with.In fact, according to Technomic’s 2017 Flavor report, 20% say they prefer sticking to their favorites and rarely branch out to try new varieties.

For retailers, knowing how to promote these familiar flavors is important. Different generations respond to different points of promotion; for instance, millennials and Gen Z might respond best to social media advertisements, while Boomers might notice onsite signage more and make their purchasing choices that way.

One thing’s for sure, though—comfort food flavors, including barbecue, are crowd pleasers no matter who the consumer is. And, Sweet Baby Ray’s sauces and glazes are perfect for creating those dishes. From sweet and smoky to spicy and beyond, these versatile ingredients offer the variety that foodservice operators need to please all diners.

Check out these tips to make sure your foodservice offerings will grab everyone’s attention.

Younger consumers want seasonal flair

Almost half (47%) of younger consumers report that their flavor preferences vary by season, according to Technomic’s Flavor report. For these consumers, it can be lucrative to offer different dishes or sides seasonally. For example, during spring and summer when fresh fruit is in season, offer Mango Habanero Country Fried Chicken made with Sweet Baby Ray’s Mango Habanero Wing Sauce and Glaze.

During colder weather, serve up Hickory Brown Sugar BBQ Meatloaf, made with Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce, and hearty sides such as mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. In fact, 50% of younger consumers are more likely to order macaroni and cheese as an appetizer or small plate option, compared to just 32% of their older counterparts, according to Technomic’s 2017 Starters, Small Plates and Sides report.

Older generations stick to tradition

Nearly a quarter (23%) of baby boomers say they prefer their favorites and rarely try new flavors, up from 17% in 2015, according to Technomic’s Flavor report. Additionally, 22% of consumers older than 35 years old say they are ordering foods that feature more traditional flavors more than they were a year ago.

When it comes to those basic and traditional flavors, more than half of consumers say that sweet (52%) and smoky (51%) flavors are appealing to them. Barbecue sauce and dishes featuring it offer both of those flavors, so putting options like barbecue chicken wings and barbecue pork on the menu can increase the likelihood that older diners will make a foodservice purchase. Try offering Crispy Baby Back Ribs with Sweet Baby Ray’s Pit Boss Sauce for lunch or dinner, and add Cowboy Beans to the lineup of sides—a dish featuring pinto beans, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, chopped barbecue brisket and Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce.

Comfort foods offered in the prepared foods section are all but guaranteed to be a winner. By offering an array of craveable sweet and smoky options, c-stores and grocery stores can attract diners of all ages who will come in knowing they can find their favorite foods and flavors whenever they want to eat a great meal. Sweet Baby Ray’s is proud to offer an array of sauces and glazes for foodservice operators. Find out how these delicious, craveable products can elevate any comfort food today!

This post is sponsored by Ken's Foods Inc.