Consumers want to see new items at their favorite restaurants, but they also enjoy the familiar tastes and experiences of brands they know and love. To draw customers in, cultivating a sense of safe experimentation is key. Restaurants can highlight trusted brands in new menu items so that consumers can feel even more confident when trying LTOs.
“Consumers are excited by new and creative menu items but are often unsure about spending their hard-earned money on something that they may not have familiarity with,” says Deborah McDaniel, vice president of global R&D for Little Caesar Enterprises.
This can also be seen in a report by NPD, which revealed one-third of consumers want to try something new. To overcome any reticence, however, restaurants can point out ingredients that customers may recognize and trust to boost confidence—especially those with well-known brands. “Premium brands with strong product recognition add an element of familiarity and comfort that reduces this as a barrier to trial,” McDaniel says.
Brand-name candies like M&M® and Twix® can increase confidence in consumers when they are deciding to try a new dessert. According to a 2022 survey by Ingredient Communications and Surveygoo people are not only more likely to purchase a product with a branded ingredient but are willing to pay up to 75 percent more for that product.
For example, Little Caesars partnered with Mars Foodservices to create the Cookie Dough Brownie with M&M® minis. “From category expertise to shared consumer insights and product development resources, branded partnerships leverage the talent and experience of two different, yet complementary businesses to unlock unique innovations that highlight the best of both brands,” McDaniel says.
Highlighting the brand-name ingredients used on the menu inspires trust in consumers. Consumers feel more confident exploring menu items when they recognize brands with which they have a positive experience.
The partnership between Mars Foodservices and Little Caesars boosted both brands. Through the M&M® branding on Little Caesars' innovative LTO dessert offering, diners were able to easily branch out and try the new dessert. Consumers can rely on trusted brands to deliver innovative and tasty desserts. The global recognition of Mars Foodservices provides an extra incentive to consumers to try something new.
“The strength of the relationships, transparency, and collaboration are critical to building a foundation for success and has to be nurtured for continued growth,” McDaniel says. This is a key to any successful partnership, of course.
“Over the last three years, the Mars Foodservices team has approached our business as a true partner and we are excited about our continued collaboration,” McDaniel says. By partnering with brands like Mars Foodservices, restaurants can increase consumer confidence and drive repeat sales.
To learn more, visit the Mars Foodservices website.
By Ya’el McLoud