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Healthy foods drive dining choices

Posted: July 26, 2017

Originally posted by the National Restaurant Association.View original article

Diners want healthier foods when they eat out, and operators are meeting that demand.

Our latest research finds 70 percent of consumers said availability of healthy menu items influences where they dine out.

Survey says …

According to our State of the Industry report, a majority of consumers said they recognize restaurants are serving more healthful menu items now than two years ago.

The research also found millennials and Generation Xers are more likely than baby boomers to choose restaurants based on the availability of healthy, locally sourced or environmentally-friendly foods.

Seventy-four percent of millennials, defined for this report as individuals aged 18 to36, said they’d choose one restaurant over a similar restaurant based on the healthy options offered. That’s slightly higher than the 66 percent of baby boomers who said healthy options would sway their restaurant choices.

According to our research, 83 percent of adults say restaurants today offer healthier options than they did two years ago. Sixty-two percent say they tend to order more healthfully now than they did two years ago.

Because of the increased customer demand, more restaurants are now offering healthful items on their menus:

Among family-dining operators, 68 percent said they offer menu items identified as nutritious and 79 percent said they serve healthful kids’ meals.
In the casual-dining segment, 47 percent of restaurateurs said they offer menu items identified as nutritious and 64 percent said they provide healthful kids’ meals.
In the quickservice arena, 56 percent of operators said they serve menu items identified as nutritious and 53 percent said they offer healthful kids’ items.
At fast-casual restaurants, 51 percent of operators said they offer foods identified as nutritious and 66 percent said they have nutritious kids’ items.
They’re gonna be popular

Although a majority of operators said they already offer healthful options, they think those menu items will be even more popular in the future.