A Hot Opportunity!
Hot dogs have always been considered an easy-to-eat snack, but following on from the burger trend, they are now classified by 1 in 4 consumers as a “treat1” too!
The out-of-home eating market is a challenging place to be right now. With the cost-of-living crisis, ingredient costs and inflation having recently peaked, consumers are being very sensitive about their spending2. Lantmännen Unibake’s Americana brand has been reviewing the market and how their products can best support operators. Beyond the classic burger offering, that is already on most outlets’ menus, the real hero of this current economic climate can be found in a versatile, quality, quick and cost-effective Hot Dog!
With summer holidays just around the corner, operators do not want to miss out on the sales opportunity this time of year brings. Americana’s research showed more than a third (36%) of respondents are most likely to order a Hot Dog at a music festival or event, and just under a third (30%) said that at a tourist attraction, such as a zoo or a theme park, is where they will enjoy a Hot Dog. With over a fifth (18%) of consumers buying a Hot Dog because it is comparatively cheaper than other items on a menu, price point is key; over half of consumers would pay £4.00 - £7.00 for a hot dog out of home.
The research shows that 26% of consumers order a Hot Dog once a week or more. Whereas it was once considered to be a main meal item, this has now diminished to just 17% of consumers. 29% of consumers enjoy a Hot Dog as a snack and 25% consider a Hot Dog a treat, demonstrating the evolution of consumption occasions and the growth of the treat and snack opportunity.
Almost half (41%) said that ease of consumption is the main purchase driver, and for a fifth (20%) of respondents, Hot Dogs are their preferred fast-food option. Speed of service is vital according to over 60% of consumers and 78% saying that the quality of the hot dog roll is important to them when purchasing.
Sam Winsor, Marketing Manager at Americana, comments: “The food to go sector is forecasted to grow by 4% in 20233. Both QSR’s and pubs & restaurants have gained a 29% share for lunch occasions4 and there has been 54% growth in buying at the operator for dinner occasions5. This tells us that, although market conditions are tough, there is opportunity within the marketplace for the right offering. Whilst reviewing the out of home market data alongside our new research, we can see the opportunity that Hot Dogs can provide operators. By capitalising on the emerging trend for Hot Dog snacking and treating. Just look at how this has developed in other Scandinavian countries like Sweden, and Denmark.
“Now is undoubtedly the time for QSR and fast-food operators to dial up their Hot Dog offering. It is imperative that they serve a good quality product that is full of flavour – and quickly – to capitalise on the opportunity.”
Americana’s research reveals some interesting nuances when it comes to how consumers like their Hot Dog to be served. Most opt for a top sliced hot dog roll (73%) over a side slice (27%), with 56% preferring the sausage and filling to be contained within the hot dog roll rather than poking out the end.
The perfect Hot Dog must be packed full of flavour (32%), fresh and served quickly (27%) and loaded with toppings (18%). In fact, cheese (53%), caramelised onions (41%) and bacon (35%) as the top three hot dog toppings. The perfect Hot Dog roll must be made with quality ingredients (30%), robust enough to hold all the ingredients (29%) and soft and spongy (24%) just like an Americana Hot Dog Roll. Tomato ketchup (57%), mustard (33%) and BBQ (30%) were the top chosen sauces and over half of consumers (52%) choosing American inspired street food as their favourite Hot Dog flavour. This provides outlets with the opportunity to customise their hot dog offering with the option of upselling to a premium option or seasonal LTO to drive sales without adding complexity and slowing down the kitchen.
To find out more about Americana Hot Dog Rolls, visit the website: https://www.americana.co.uk/products/?c1=Hot-Dog-Rolls