Local ingredients add the most enjoyment to eating out occasions
16 October 2012
- Locally sourced ingredients add the most enjoyment, followed by exotic ingredients
- Expensive ingredients are found to have the least enjoyment factor
Research conducted by consumer experts Canadean Consumer has found that locally sourced ingredients will enhance a consumer’s enjoyment of an out of home meal occasion more than other “types” of ingredients. When asked to rate each ingredient type locally sourced ingredients proved to have the largest influence on a consumer’s enjoyment.
Consumers rated ingredient types on a scale of one to five (one being “no influence at all” and five being “a large influence”). With an average score of 2.91, locally sourced ingredients have the largest influence on a consumer’s enjoyment when eating out of home, followed by exotic ingredients (2.71), sustainably sourced ingredients (2.7) and organic ingredients (2.55). Interestingly, expensive ingredients have the least enjoyment factor for consumers, who appear to be increasingly looking for menus promising localised produce, as opposed to a menu sampling the finest gourmet ingredients.
According to Research Manager Alex Wilman, these results come as no surprise; “One of the leading restaurant trends of 2012 is localism and more and more operators are now looking to source local ingredients and emphasize local meat, fish and produce, even drinks, on their menus. To the consumer, locally sourced products indicate freshness and quality and so consumers are likely to enjoy eating meals made using ingredients with local postcodes.”
Wilman also points to the relationship between localism and sustainability, with sustainable ingredients (2.7) ranked a close third in the enjoyment factor stakes; “Not only are local ingredients seen as fresh due to the short distance they need to travel from source to plate, but increasingly astute consumers are recognising that locally procured ingredients are also more sustainable. With sustainability another key trend in 2012, consumers are aware that local produce on a menu means a reduction in the operator’s carbon footprint – further adding to the feelgood factor of the meal occasion.”
Figure 1: Degree each factor is likely to influence the enjoyment of an out of home meal occasion (average score from 5 point scale), UK respondents, n=2,000, 2012
Source: Canadean © Canadean