Our perspective at VantagePoint

The Spectrum of Scratch Cooking in Foodservice

Made to order. From scratch. Fresh.

No matter what the terminology, more and more consumers are looking for their meals to feature freshly made components or options to customize their dishes.

But true scratch cooking is complex and time consuming. Are commercial and noncommercial kitchens actually putting it into use? The levels of execution vary.

A Datassential presentation from the 2018 IFMA Marketing and Sales Leaders Forum sought to go into the “mind of the modern operator” to better understand who they are, what life stage they are in, what they buy and what’s on their menus. As part of the study, operators were asked to classify their prep methods into one of the following categories: true scratch, mostly scratch, mixed kitchen or finishers. Here are the breakdowns by operation type:

For those in the mostly scratch and mixed kitchen categories, there is still a significant amount of prep, but these operations will use a convenient product when deemed appropriate. The report cites that “appropriate” is determined by comparing the quality of the result to the level of effort required — which will differ from brand to brand.

F&B and equipment manufacturers should consider where their customers and prospects fall on this spectrum. By taking their current level of scratch cooking into account and understanding whether they are looking to increase, decrease or maintain it in the future, you can provide solutions that are targeted to their needs and aspirations.

Is scratch cooking coming up in discussions with your customers? How do you see this trend evolving in the future? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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