Discover ways to combat "Combo Meal" trend's sharp decline

Posted by Bonnie Riggs, Restaurant Industry Analyst, The NPD Group July 15, 2013

Tagged in Consumer Behavior Consumer Planning Program Discover Foodservice Industry Research Industry Research

Bonnie Riggs is a part of The NPD Group's foodservice division and works as their restaurant industry analyst. She has more than 25 years of experience researching the restaurant industry market. Her expertise is best exemplified in her foodservice industry reports that cover current issues and topics in the industry. One of NPD's recent reports, Understanding Combo Meal Purchase Behavior, provides valuable insight on the recent decline of combo meal purchases. 


Combo meal popularity has declined at both morning meal occasions and all other times of the day. Those with the highest tendency to order combo meals are young consumers ages 18 to 34, this group has shown the greatest decrease in combo meal purchases in the last couple of years.

Combo Meal Image 2

What can be done to rebuild consumers' interest in ordering combo meals?

In order to develop products and promotions that help restore the appeal of combo meals, foodservice operators and manufacturers must fully comprehend what's happening. Understanding Combo Meal Purchase Behavior will help answer the following questions:

  • Is the decline in combo meal purchases due to a lack of awareness of their availability and benefits or is it because of consumer disinterest?
  • What specific reasons do consumers give for not ordering combo meals? Is it the price, their preference, their dislike of the combos, not liking the offered beverage, the menu board too difficult to read, or other reasons?
  • What other combos or incentives would rebuild consumers' interest in foodservice operator-offered  combo meals?
  • Who would be most likely to order combo meals if offered in a new, preferred way?

Understanding Combo Meal Purchase Behavior delivers vital information to truly understand and approach the problem of decreasing combo meal purchases. IFMA members receive an exclusive  discount of 40% off the regular price and pay $7,500 for the report. Order it today.

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