LTO draws in more diners, says new report

New findings reveal that Limited-time offers (LTOs), a long-standing food service industry tradition in the US, play a pivotal role in generating buzz, fostering variety, and influencing consumer behaviour. Industry analyst Circana studied over 30 unique LTOs, utilising its longitudinal receipt panel and buyer recontact surveys to delve into the nuances of buyer behaviour across diverse categories, including beverages, main dishes, side dishes, desserts, and breakfast items.
LTOs are revealed to build excitement for all consumers and drive engagement with existing, heavier buyers. As serious buyers naturally fade, LTOs emerge as tactical approaches to maintain engagement and boost spending. Circana’s report highlights the delicate balance of addressing cannibalisation risks by implementing strategic pricing, targeting specific behaviours, introducing LTOs with premium features, or targeting new behaviours such as individual portions or breakfast items.
“Nostalgia is a powerful ingredient in the recipe for LTO success, targeting older consumers by resurrecting previously discontinued menu items,” said David Portalatin, senior vice-president and industry advisor, Food and Foodservice, Circana. “While LTOs are designed to be temporary, their impact on the perception of a brand is lasting, contributing to maintaining a positive brand image even after the limited-time offer concludes.”

Image from Unsplash

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