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Consumers call for more healthy menu items, may not order them


November 19, 2010
By Canadian Pizza

pzthreepeppersthumbnailNovember 19, 2010, Chicago, IL – A new study from Technomic reports that half of all Canadians want healthier menu items, but only about a quarter consider nutrition when dining out.

“There is often a disconnect between consumers’ intentions and their actions,” says Technomic executive vice president Darren Tristano. “Many consumers are actually making substantial changes to their overall habits, even basing which restaurants they frequent in part based on their impressions of the healthfulness of the brands. However, as many of us know from personal experience, diners do not always follow through on their intentions once it is time to order.”

Other key findings from the 2010 Canadian Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report  include:

  • Only 17 per cent of Canadian consumers feel that food described as “healthy” on the menu does not taste as good as other options. Contrary to previously-held beliefs, it appears more consumers today feel that foods labeled as healthy can still be satisfying.
  • More Canadians than Americans report maintaining a generally healthy diet. Forty-eight percent of Canadian consumers say that their overall eating behaviour tends to be very healthy, compared with just 40 per cent in the U.S.
  • Cost is the main deterrent for consumers who indicate they never consume natural, local, organic or sustainable foods. Seventy-seven per cent of consumers who never eat organic foods cite cost as the primary reason.

The study analyzed MenuMonitor Canada, Technomic’s online trend tracking resource, to show how leading, emerging and independent restaurants position menu items as healthy and how this positioning has shifted in recent years. 

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For more information about the study, visit www.technomic.com.