Consumers are increasingly taking on a more personalized, holistic view of health. They're making food and beverage choices based on their personal definition of health, such as food described as natural, organic, high in protein or functional (e.g., items to help boost energy or de-stress).
However, the 2018 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report shows that despite abiding by these health definitions, consumers may still reconsider their restaurant orders if they think an item has too many calories. These views have implications for restaurants, especially as some restaurants are now required to post calorie counts and consumers increasingly rely on food service for meals.
"The foodservice landscape will become more competitive when it comes to tastier, more innovative healthy menu offerings," says Maia Chang, senior research analyst at Technomic. "This means that more brands will face additional pressure to differentiate through transparency and preparation techniques, as well as brand and sourcing stories."
Key takeaways from the report include:
• 40 percent of consumers say their definition of health has changed over the past two years
• 66 percent look for calorie counts on restaurant menus at least some of the time
• 34 percent say they'd be likely to order dishes made with vegetables, such as cauliflower pizza crust and zucchini noodles, instead of carb-rich items
Compiling findings from more than 1,500 consumer responses, as well as Ignite menu data on healthy item trends, the 2018 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report serves as a guide for foodservice operators and suppliers to discover the opportunities, challenges and consumer attitudes regarding healthy eating in the United States and the impact of those attitudes on foodservice use.
Technomic publishes a complete library of Consumer Trend Reports. To learn more, visit technomic.com.