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Healthy eating trends

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Consumers increasingly making food choices based on personal definition of health

Technomic’s 2018 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report highlights drivers behind consumers’ choices and the implications for restaurants

CHICAGO, Nov. 1, 2018: 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 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.”

“To fully capitalize on foodservice opportunities, brands must address consumers’ lingering concerns about the quality and freshness of prepared foods and beverages at c-stores,” explains Charles Winship, senior research analyst of consumer insights at Technomic. “The most reliable way for c-stores to convey quality and freshness is by utilizing real ingredients and leveraging transparency so consumers know how, when and where items are prepared.”


Key takeaways from the report include:

  • 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

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.

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