Highlighting Healthy Menu Items and Introducing More Nutritious Options Helps Casual Diners and QSRs Stay Current in a Fresh-Focused Consumer Market

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - March 13, 2013 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Restaurants, Food and Drinks Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs and Equity Analysts. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Shift Toward Healthier Food Options - Emerging Market Expansion - Focus on Brand Equity - Store Sales Growth Trends - Cautious Consumer Spending

Companies include: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG), Panera Bread Co. (PNRA), McDonald's Corp. (MCD), Wendy's/Arby's Group, Inc. (WEN), Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (BWLD), The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (CAKE), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (KKD), Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. (RRGB), Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) and many more.

In the following excerpt from the Restaurants, Food and Drinks Report, an expert analyst discusses the outlook for the sector for investors:

TWST: When we spoke about a year ago, one of the trends we talked about was that of healthier eating and fresher food and companies like Chipotle and Panera benefiting from that. Was that trend just a fad or does it have legs?

Mr. Slabaugh: I think it definitely has legs. I think that Chipotle (CMG) and Panera (PNRA) will continue to benefit from that. When you look at the initiatives that other both casual diners and quick service restaurants have been employing, it's been to help highlight what's already fairly healthy on the menu and to introduce new healthier items, so all of that, I think, is a trend that's going to continue.

Also, given the fact that a lot of restaurants want to target that Millennial segment, this is a great way to do that because it's proven that Millennials care a lot more about what they eat, where it came from, etc. I think the point there is, if you want to grow within that Millennial segment, you have to be there; you have to have some sort of offering that's healthier, or maybe a more important point is that you can feel better about eating a particular item.

I make that point to say that I think the marketing aspect, the messaging aspect and the positioning aspect of your food is just as important, if not likely more important, than the actual food itself. The calories at Chipotle or Panera are not really any lower or better than many other places, but the messaging, the brand, what they stand for - it's clearly geared toward that Millennial segment, which is a higher-check, growing group that a lot of people are targeting.

TWST: Is anyone else in particular doing a good job with this?

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

View Comments (0)