1. Department: Food

IHOP Focusing on Customer Relevance


Hand Held Food
for Immediate Consumption has made hamburgers and pizza mainstays on just about
every menu in the U.S. according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA
based Foodservice Solutions. Here let’s look at some facts:

1.       Recent Grocerant ScoreCards found 82.3% of consumers
don’t know what’s for dinner at Noon, and 61.8
%don’t know what’ s for dinner at 4PM.

2.       Roughly 63.7% of consumers purchase prepared food items from a
retail location at least three times a month.

79.6% all dinners have at least 1
grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat meal component and 66.6% have two
meal components per day.

4.       When asked if
they wanted to cook dinner from scratch or assemble dinner from fresh meal
components 91.3 % of Gen Z chose assemble from Fresh Prepared Meal Components
and Millennials 83.4% chose meal components.

5.       Seventy-three percent of retail prepared food purchases are taken
to go

6.       88.2 % of consumers prefer hand held food over sit down meals with
a knife and fork

is now addressing customer relevance with menu items that complement the way consumers
like to eat and are most comfortable. 
Consumers today prefer to consume meals with their hands more often than
with a knife, fork and spoon.  So, just
how is
doing that?  Simple they introduced
Pancake Tacos to the menu Wednesday, turning a breakfast favorite into a
handheld option geared to both dine-in and to-go guests.

The limited-time item, which runs through July 30, is
available in four variations—two sweet and two savory providing choices that
span the dayparts. The team at Foodservice Solutions® believes these items will
work well and drive customer relevance while elevating takeout options for
office and home delivery.

The former category includes the Fresh Strawberry
Cheesecake Pancake Taco, filled with sliced berries and creamy cheesecake
mousse, and the Caramel Banana Pancake Taco, featuring the same cheesecake
mousse drizzled with vanilla sauce and dulce de leche caramel sauce. Chocolate
chips are available as an extra indulgence on both.

On the savory side, there’s the Breakfast Pancake Taco,
filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, a cheddar-Jack cheese blend and white cheese
sauce with optional salsa. The Country Chicken and Gravy Pancake Taco with
crispy chicken, shredded hashbrowns and country gravy topped with pickles
rounds out the options.

An order of three tacos of the same flavor is $6, served in
a metal taco holder. Tables can also share orders to sample all the variations.

This isn’t the first time IHOP
has offered a pancake-taco mashup. Last summer, a franchisee in Texas created
an homage to Klondike’s discontinued Choco Taco ice cream treat with a
limited-time but wildly popular Choco-Pancake. A buttermilk pancake was pressed
in a waffle iron, filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate
sauce, whipped topping and chocolate chips.   

“I saw this as an opportunity to create more depth and taco
iterations using our original pancake,” said Arthur Carl II, VP of culinary at
IHOP, adding that he made the pancake smaller—more like a street taco size.
“The Breakfast Pancake Taco really speaks to our guests, while the chicken taco
is a little more adventurous and designed to be more of a lunch or dinner
entree. The goal was to leverage our breakfast equity to expand into other

The two sweet variations can fit into a breakfast or
dessert occasion.

IHOP is partnering with TikTok creators to weigh in on the
debate around whether the new menu item is a pancake or a taco. The plan is for
creators to ask their followers to spark the discussion and encourage others to
join in by sharing #PancakeorTaco.

Pancake Tacos were tested in Texas and Arizona units,
receiving good feedback prior to their national launch Wednesday. “I’m hoping
the Pancake Tacos hit well with guests through all the dayparts,” said Carl,
adding that he’s exploring other ideas for menu extensions and limited-time
offers but not sharing any specifics.  

Carl, who joined the Glendale, Calif.-based chain at the
end of last year, has hit the ground running. In March, he 
elevated IHOP’s menu
with a new lineup
Benedicts, crepes, steakburgers, salads and beverages, all featuring upgraded
ingredients, innovative flavors and chef-driven components.

Don’t over reach. Are you ready for some fresh ideations?
Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow?
Interested in learning how
Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform
for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation
and individualization?
 Email us
[email protected] or visit us on our social media sites by
clicking the following links:
Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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