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Report Highlights How Consumers Define Health and the Food Choices They Make

By: Multi-Unit Franchisee |

Healthy living and eating are more popular than ever. Today’s informed consumers are taking a holistic view of their health and applying their criteria to their eating choices, says a new study by Technomic.

The 2018 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report finds that consumers are making food and beverage choices based on their personal definition of health, such as food described as natural, organic, or high in protein. However, despite abiding by these health definitions, consumers may still reconsider their restaurant orders if they think an item has too many calories.

The findings have implications for restaurants, especially as some restaurants are now required to post calorie counts and consumers increasingly rely on foodservice 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.”

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • 40% of consumers say their definition of health has changed over the past two years
  • 66% look for calorie counts on restaurant menus at least some of the time
  • 34% say they’d be likely to order dishes made with vegetables, such as cauliflower pizza crust and zucchini noodles, instead of carb-rich items

The 2018 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report compiled findings from more than 1,500 consumer responses, as well as Ignite menu data on healthy item trends, the 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.

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