Finding and Ordering Specific Brands Difficult for Foodservice Operators

Sep 22, 2011, 10:24 ET from Datassential

CHICAGO, Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Foodservice operators have difficulty finding and placing orders for specific brands on distributor websites, according to a report by Datassential entitled "How Operators Buy".  

Datassential found that just 25% of restaurant operators who order online "always" or "often" search by brand, with many operators complaining that sites make it difficult to locate the specific brands they want.  This opens the door to preferred brands being ignored when it matters most – at the time of purchase.

Another hurdle for manufacturers is brand inconsistency on distributor ordering sites.  Datassential advises that the industry needs to work towards uniform presentation of brand names and product descriptions on these sites.  If abbreviations are used, they should be done in a way that is intuitive, easy to remember, and promoted aggressively.

According to Datassential's Maeve Webster, "branded manufacturers must ensure that operators can easily locate their products on ordering sites, and also make every effort to keep DSRs as up-to-date as possible on their new products."  

"Better collaboration between manufacturers and distributors would be the best long-term solution," explains Webster.  "But where that isn't or won't be possible, it's critical that manufacturers provide operators with specific instructions on how to search for their brands."

The "How Operators Buy" report is part of Datassential's Keynote series on strategic insights for the foodservice industry.  The report features feedback from over 700 restaurant and non-commercial operators, with analysis of:

  • Usage of distributors vs. alternative channels
  • The role and impact of DSRs
  • Online ordering and automatic reordering
  • New product trial motivators
  • Sources of product recommendations
  • Price monitoring behavior

The report is designed to help manufacturing companies and distributors maximize their product sales potential.  "While marketers often know what operators want, what's been missing is an understanding of how operators purchase those products," says Webster.

For more information on this and future Keynote topics, contact Ann Golladay at or 312-655-8310.

Datassential is a full-service research and technology provider for the food industry.  With services ranging from custom research to prospect qualification, Datassential offers exceptional and relevant solutions at a cost-effective price point.  Datassential also owns and operates the industry's largest research panel with over 25,000 foodservice decision makers, a database of more than 500,000 restaurants and non-commercial locations, and a menu database with over 6,000 US menus.

SOURCE Datassential