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A new study has revealed that 55% of foodservice operators have agreed that online ordering is valuable for their business.

US-based foodservice marketing and consulting agency Marlin Network has conducted the 2019 Influencing the Operator Purchase study by gathering insights from more than 800 commercial and non-commercial foodservice operators of its Operator Vantage panel.

Around one-fifth of the total operators noted that they start their purchase journey with an online search while 94% of operators want to see product prices before requesting a sample.

“If you think food-away-from-home marketing isn’t what it used to be, you’re absolutely right.”

Marlin Network Insights senior vice-president Christopher Wolf said: “If you think food-away-from-home marketing isn’t what it used to be, you’re absolutely right.

“Changes like digital technology, mixed with macro-forces like the rise of convenience, value, personalisation, experience and wellness are changing the way foodservice operators buy.”

The study focused on exploring changes in the purchase journey of foodservice operators while offering simple strategies and ideas to suppliers, enabling them to reach, influence and convert operators to purchase their product.

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It also gathered insights on how operators search for new products, as well as how they are influenced at various stages of their buying journey such as awareness, consideration, decision and post-purchase.

Operator Vantage is a panel and research system connecting foodservice operators across all major commercial and non-commercial segments to deliver insights.