Consumer perceptions of portion control, fine dining and pasta

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 20th May 2009

Portion control fails to consume shoppers, fine dining success is reliant on quality and ambiance and pasta thrives in challenging economic times, according to three new reports from market and consumer research firm Mintel.

100-calorie packs a tough sell: price and size deter hungry consumers

100-calorie packs were introduced earlier this century with great success in America and were designed to appeal to shoppers keen for a snack that wouldn’t pile on the pounds.

Though weight and health remain major issues in today’s society, Mintel now believes there is lagging interest in portion-controlled packaging. Only one in seven adults (14%) currently buy pre-measured packs in the US, and the number one reason they do is convenience. Weight management comes second.

Of people who don’t buy 100-calorie packs, half say they just aren’t interested. Cost is another deterrent, and a third of people say they prefer measuring out their own snacks.

Fine diners in it for the food, but women also crave intimate settings and experience

Food quality is, not surprisingly, the most important factor to fine dining patrons. But Mintel reports that women rank a leisurely experience and atmosphere nearly as high. Four in five women (80%) feel atmosphere is important, while 88 per cent told Mintel they like not “feeling rushed.”

Nearly three-quarters of fine diners also place importance on food presentation and staff knowledge about food and food ingredients.

Consumers fail to tire of pasta’s cheap, tasty options

From mac & cheese to spaghetti & meatballs, Mintel’s latest survey finds 92% of people eat pasta. One in six Americans said they were eating more pasta this year, with the number one reason being that pasta is an economical choice during challenging financial times. Pasta’s variety is another key selling point, with nearly half of people who report eating more pasta doing so because they just “don’t get bored with pasta”.