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Consumers are craving food that reminds them of simpler times before social distancing and shelter-in-place regulations were introduced. Comfort food is defined as food prepared in a traditional style having nostalgic or sentimental appeal.1 Typically, foods like ice cream, French fries, fried chicken or other indulgent meals come to mind. In a time that can be described as anything but normal, 47 percent of consumers are craving more comfort foods,2 and 33 percent of consumers are eating more comfort foods since the onset of the pandemic.3
Turning to comfort foods isn’t a new concept for consumers; however, they’re looking to restaurant menus to find some of their favorite comfort food staples. According to Datassential,
50 percent of consumers say ordering from restaurants has been an escape or treat during the COVID-19 pandemic,4 which provides a unique opportunity for operators to be creative with their menus in a simpler way.
Operators are condensing their menus to focus on core items. As a result, operators are seeing a reduction in the number of ingredient SKUs in the kitchen, which helps alleviate some overhead costs and allows back-of-house teams to focus on perfecting those core menu items. Operators have an opportunity to minimize their costs by developing simpler menus with comfort food options that have broad appeal to consumers.
Additionally, restaurants are adapting their menus by offering family-style versions of some of their most popular dishes. Offering large, pre-made meals provides an opportunity to put some control back into consumers’ hands with a cost-friendly option, allowing operators to facilitate a fun, at-home dining experience with familiar restaurant favorites.
Recent data shows consumers are turning to meat and poultry dishes to provide their families with the nourishment and comfort they desire,5 even when ordering out. Protein staples like chicken can help bring back the sense of normalcy consumers desire as they’re looking for dishes they know will satisfy and bring joy, now more than ever before.
We’re here to help operators bring comfort to their consumers in the “new normal” moving forward. The Tyson Red Label® portfolio can help operator’s amp up their comfort food staples with tried-and-true chicken offerings. This portfolio consists of a variety of versatile chicken products in the most popular forms and flavor profiles at price points that fit operators’ budgets without compromising on quality. Tyson Red Label® products are made from chickens raised with No Antibiotics Ever and have the perfect balance of breading, flavor and textures to help operator’s serve up delicious comfort food for both in-person and off-premise dining.
To learn more about how our Tyson Red Label® portfolio can help enhance your comfort food offerings, visit TysonRedLabelDelivers.com or contact your Tyson Foodservice representative today!
1Merriam-Webster22020 Technomic Inc, April 2020
3Datassential’s COVID-19 Report Series
4Datassential, Coronavirus Report 2020
5Refrigerated & Frozen Foods, “Meat and Poultry Producers to Provide Food for Families during COVID-19 Pandemic”, March 2020