What is in this article?:
- QSRs tap consumer demand for snacks
- McDonald's, KFC put snacks on the menu
Quick-service players such as McDonald's, Taco Bell and KFC focus on snacking dayparts
As more consumers look to satisfy cravings while they are on the go, restaurants, particularly those in the quick-service segment, are aiming to meet that need with convenient, value-friendly snack items.
Consumers' desire for craveable, value-oriented menu items at nontraditional meal times is steadily gaining popularity and causing restaurants operators to look for ways to build checks while meeting demand, according to restaurant research firm Technomic. The quick-service segment uses the term “snack” most often on its menus, according to menu research firm Datassential, and is coming up with a variety of new menu items to grab its portion of the growing market.
Here's a look at what some of the top quick-service chains are doing to meet customer demand for snacks.
In recent months, Irving, Calif.-based Taco Bell has rolled out a number of new snack-focused menu items.
In December, the brand launched an appetizer-inspired menu item called Loaded Grillers, which features three grilled snack wraps inspired by popular appetizer flavors: Loaded Potato, Beefy Nacho and Loaded Buffalo. The new items, which started at a limited-time price of 99 cents, were designed to build upon Taco Bell’s line of savory snack options, which it began testing in November. Those items were rolled out with new desserts and included XXL Steak Nachos, a Double Steak Quesadilla and a Smothered Burrito.
Most recently, Taco Bell began testing a $1 Cravings menu at 55 restaurants in California. Items include a Spicy Mini Quesadilla and a Beefy Cheesy Burrito, and are an attempt to highlight flavors guests crave from the chain, said Chris Brandt, vice president of marketing at Taco Bell.