Chick-fil-A further solidified its lead on Chicken rivals in the Latest Year, increasing its share of segment sales to 39.5%, up from 34.8% two years earlier. Only four of the 13 Chicken brands — Chick-fil-A, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Wingstop and Top 200 newcomer Golden Chick — saw their share of segment sales increase in the Latest Year. Two other large Chicken brands, KFC and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, on the other hand, saw their shares slip two years running, falling to 16.7% and 12.2% of Latest-Year sales, respectively.
Starbucks stays hot
The Beverage-Snack segment gained nearly 0.3 percentage points in the Latest Year to reach 11.3% of total Top 200 sales. Within the segment, Starbucks stood apart, representing 60.2% of Beverage-Snack sales. That was well ahead of the next largest share of sales, Dunkin’s 25.8%. Other than Starbucks, only two other Beverage-Snack brands — Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Smoothie King — gained market share within the segment in the Latest Year. Both smoothie brands were among the fastest-growing chains in the Top 200.
Panera keeps rising
The Bakery-Cafe segment’s share of Top 200 sales was virtually flat in the Latest Year, declining 0.01 percentage points to represent 2.7% of total Top 200 sales. But within the segment, there was one clear winner: Panera Bread. The chain, which had $5.6 billion in Latest-Year sales and is the country’s 10th-largest chain, accounted for a whopping 68.3% of Bakery-Cafe sales. Other larger, established chains — Tim Hortons, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Corner Bakery Cafe and Au Bon Pain — all saw their shares slip in both the Latest and Preceding years.
Chipotle climbs back
Chipotle has rebounded from the foodborne illness fallout of the past
few years, increasing its share of Limited-Service/Mexican segment sales to 25.3% in the Latest Year, up from 22.9% two years earlier. Other than Chipotle, only two smaller brands — Cafe Rio Mexican Grill and Fuzzy’s Taco Shop — gained share. However, one of the brands whose share slipped in the Latest Year was Taco Bell, which still holds a comfortable lead with more than half of segment sales, or 54.7%. The segment as a whole increased its share of Top 200 sales to 6.3%, from 6.1% in the Preceding Year.
Panda Express pulls away
Panda Express continues to distance itself from other Limited-Service/Specialty chains, ending the Latest Year with 48.1% of segment sales, up more than 5 percentage points over a two-year period. Only two other brands in the 12-chain group increased market share: Zoës Kitchen and Sarku Japan. The biggest market share decline was seen by Long John Silvers, which lost nearly 1 percentage point in the Latest Year.
Subway loses ground
Subway saw its share of sales in the Limited-Service/Sandwich segment fall again in the Latest Year, dipping to 47.2%, from 49.5% in the Preceding Year and 51.6% in the Prior Year. The decline came as the brand’s Latest-Year sales fell as it closed more than 1,100 stores. That erosion created opportunity for eight of the 14 chains in the group to increase market share. Of those, the largest gains were seen by Arby’s and Jersey Mike’s Subs.
Top brands duke it out
Casual Dining was one of seven Top 200 segments that saw its market share drop, ending the Latest Year at 16.5% of Top 200 sales, down from 17.1% two years earlier. Within the segment — the largest in the Top 200 at 61 chains — no one chain dominated the group. Olive Garden increased its share in the Latest Year to 8.6% of segment sales, ahead of Applebee’s 8.4%. The two are neck-and-neck at the top of Casual-Dining sales ranks. Olive Garden is projected by Top 200 researchers to surpass the longtime No. 1 Applebee’s this year. The largest market share increase in the segment was seen by Texas Roadhouse, which ended
the Latest Year with 5.5% of Casual-Dining sales.
Despite a dip, McDonald’s still dominates
Limited Service/Burger has been losing ground to other Top 200 segments: Over a two-year period, the segment saw its market share decline 0.5 percentage points, ending the Latest Year at 28.3% of Top 200 sales. McDonald’s segment share dipped slightly in the Latest Year, but the $38.5 billion burger brand — the largest in the Top 200 — still held a 45.1% share of Limited-Service/Burger sales. That was still a healthy lead over the next largest brand, Burger King, which saw its share of sales grow to 11.6% in the Latest Year. Among the chains that gained the most share of segment sales were Five Guys Burgers & Fries and Shake Shack as well as brands with strong regional fan bases: Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Culver’s, Whataburger and The Habit Burger Grill.
Domino’s takes a bigger slice
The Pizza segment saw its share of Top 200 sales decline to 7.8% in the Latest Year, as sales growth slowed. But there were a few standouts within the segment. Domino’s, which saw double-digit sales growth in both Latest and Preceding years, accounted for 27.8% of the Pizza segment, up from 23.8% two years earlier. Domino’s was the only large, legacy brand to increase share: Papa John’s, Pizza Hut and Little Caesars all saw market share decline. Marco’s Pizza and fast-growing MOD Pizza and Blaze Pizza were among the six brands that increased market share in the Latest Year.
Family Dining finds a few bright spots
Only six of the 17 Family-Dining brands in the Top 200 saw market share increases in the Latest Year. That list included segment leader IHOP, which accounted for 20.2% of Latest-Year Family-Dining sales, as well as No. 2 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, at 18.7%. The largest market share gain went to First Watch, which is one of several smaller brands — such as Black Bear Diner — that are breathing new life into the maturing segment.