U.S. Heathy Food and Menu Trends: Understanding consumer and foodservice operator wants around “new healthy” offerings like superfoods, ancient grains, and plant-based foods

Published - April 2019| Code - MDK030A| Affiliate - Datassential

Report Highlights

Consumers struggle between healthy objectives and healthy practices. Over half of consumers seek to modify their weight. While improving current eating habits is clearly a recognized path to better health, regular exercise may prove a greater challenge for nearly half of consumers who never or rarely exercise during the week.

Consumers tend to make healthier eating choices at home versus at restaurants where they are more likely to splurge.

Breakfast is where consumers feel they should focus most on healthy eating. However, dinner tends to be the largest mealpart for three out of four consumers, contrary to what health experts recommend as it relates to allocating calories throughout the day.

While strict dieters are relatively few, the great majority of Americans adopt some level of healthy eating.

Consumers in general seek a balanced diet. Reducing negative ingredients such as salt, sugar, and fat contribute to that plan.

Niche diets that eliminate entire food categories – gluten, dairy, meat, animal products – have low current practice. However, interest from roughly one in five consumers is noteworthy and speaks to potential adoption with non-restricted consumers who see benefits in avoiding certain food categories.

The majority of operators place at least some importance on health and wellness as a menu consideration. Appealing to a wide range of consumers requires consideration for both quantifiable H&W factors (low cal, low salt, low fat) and value-based attributes (sustainability, natural, purity).

Item profitability is central to menu design. As operators look for ways to increase menu profitability, healthy options should be part of that strategy. Both operators and consumers are willing to pay a premium for ‘clean’, natural, and local food attributes that speak to purity and freshness.

Navigate the landscape of healthy eating in America with Datassential’s New Healthy Keynote report. MenuTrends Keynotes combine the extensive detail of MenuTrends with the opinions and behaviors of over 1,000 consumers nationwide and insights from hundreds of operators from Datassential’s OPERA panel, the industry’s largest with over 30,000 restaurant, retail, and on-site operators. Discover what the term ‘healthy’ means to today’s consumers and understand buyers’ needs and wants around healthy eating:

Landscape for New Healthy
Follow the evolution of healthy 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0; take a closer look at consumer lifestyles and H&W behaviors; understand consumer attitudes on healthy eating and how it contributes to overall wellness.

New Healthy Motivators
Identify key drivers and barriers to healthy eating for consumers at home and away from home; understand retail and foodservice areas for healthy improvements.

Healthy Attributes
Gauge consumer familiarity with healthy food terms and what healthy attributes they are willing to buy and pay more for; identify foods consumers are actively trying to limit and include in their diets.

New Healthy Trends and Tactics
Dive into healthy megatrends that are shaping the future of new healthy from ancient grains to green juices, alternative milks to feel-good food terms; gauge consumer affinity for healthy foods, beverages, and ingredients.

Extensive Menu Detail and Flavor Deep Dives
Learn about menu adoption cycles; top menu penetration and fastest-growing ingredients and flavors; see trends by segment and region, chains vs. independents, and limited service vs. full service.

Operator Usage Detail
Understand where healthy options fit into operator menu goals; identify healthy food attributes they seek and perceive as premium

New Healthy Opportunities
Get insight into products, ingredients, and platform innovations for foodservice and retail.

Datassential, a Chicago-based food industry research and consulting firm, brings clients real-world information on foodservice and consumer packaged goods in the U.S. and around the world. The company’s services, including its extensive MenuTrends database, provide in-depth reporting on trends in menu offerings, flavor profiles, ingredients and preparations. Datassential helps operators, retailers, and suppliers understand and capitalize on these important trends.

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