“The great thing for us and why we’re enamored with this idea and why we’re so excited about it is that 79 percent of these products are purchased with the inclusion of a normal entrée,” he says. “The guests are really using these as an appetizer or to try something new.”
A similar desire to ramp up traffic outside the traditionally busy morning daypart has driven several menu innovations at Dunkin’ Donuts.
The company recently tested a new line of “Gotta-Have $2 Snacks” in the Boston area. Patricia Healy, senior director of integrated marketing, describes the snacks—which include doughnut fries, Munchkin Dippers, waffle-breaded chicken tenders, and pretzel bites—as “ideal for an energizing afternoon break.”
In January and February, Dunkin’ offered $2 hot or iced lattes between 2 and 6 p.m. And in April, the company rolled out its GO2s menu, an all-day menu that features two breakfast sandwiches at a $2, $3, or $4 price point.
“We have an ongoing commitment to menu innovation and meeting the needs of our on-the-go guests at any time of day,” Healy says. “While the morning is certainly a key time for our business, we are also focused on driving traffic in the afternoon, including through new beverage and snack innovations.”
Cinnabon has long centered its business around snacking. Its sweet cinnamon rolls have been a staple of the shopping-mall experience for years. Now it’s hoping to deliver at traditional mealtimes and snack occasions in a multitude of venues, including airports, truck stops, and convenience stores.
“As these snacking patterns have changed how consumers are consuming product, we actually are benefiting from that,” says Jill Thomas, Cinnabon’s vice president of global marketing. “In malls, we are the snacking leader. In that part of our business, we see a nice increase in the lunch daypart and dinner daypart as people shift how they’re eating. So we haven’t done a lot of programming around off-peak windows for our mall bakery. But [we have] in nontraditional locations, which is where we are growing, and it is specifically for that reason.”