And make no mistake, there are new things coming. “These impulse [snack] segments move much more quickly than other segments,” says Tripoli, the food-service consultant. That’s partly because people are more willing to make a risky $4 purchase between meals than drop $100 on a wildly different dinner spot. And, according to Kludt, the Eater editorial director, there’s already a clear contender to replace froyo: “A lot of our cities are writing about hip new doughnut places that serve flavors like bacon caramel,” she says.
Come to think of it, that sounds a lot like Union Square Donuts, which opened in Somerville a few months ago and has already moved to a larger storefront. Its flavors include Maple Bacon and Chocolate Chipotle. Given Americans’ shifting tastes, it seems like a concept that could play coast to coast. At least for a while.
Daniel McGinn is a senior editor at Harvard Business Review. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.