What’s The Skinny on Consumer Perception of “Healthy” Eating?
It’s an ongoing challenge to keep up with the latest health trends in the foodservice industry. Fortunately for operators, consumers’ definition of healthful food has expanded. Now it’s less about removing negatives or adding positives, and more about simply eating real food.
What Do Consumers Want To See More of On Menus?
The health movement is not a fad, it is an evolving trend. We have entered a new phase in marketing health to consumers. Consumers report “healthy” as the number-one characteristic they want to see more of on restaurant menus. Whether explicitly or implicitly stated, consumers are seeking food that is “real.” Beyond “healthy,” a number of different spices and ethnic flavor profiles are resonating with consumers in this marketplace as our acceptance of ethnic foods continues to grow both at home and away from home.
The Evolution of Health in America
The most recent shift in attitudes follows several decades of consumers focusing on avoiding things in food that were perceived as bad, such as fat, cholesterol, sugar and, over the past five years, gluten. More recently, consumers have shown a stronger leaning to choosing foods with positive additives. And they are particularly focused on whole grains and fiber when it comes to nutrition and eating healthy.
The NPD Group is the industry’s leading source for foodservice trends and restaurant market research data. NPD’s CREST® service, which continually tracks consumers’ use of commercial and non-commercial foodservice, assists foodservice manufacturers, foodservice operators, and other foodservice organizations with strategic planning and positioning, product/menu development, and consumer targeting. For more information visit our website at www.restaurantindustrytrends.com