U.S. Salad Trends: Understanding consumer and foodservice operator habits and wants for salads including green salads (greens, veggies/fruits, cheeses, proteins, toppings, dressing) and deli salads

Dec 2016| MDK017A| Datassential

Report Highlights

Green salads are served at 88% of all restaurants and have strong presence across segments.

Already ubiquitous, green salad has still managed to grow overall on menus since 2005. More full service restaurants, especially midscale, are menuing salads, but fewer limited service operators offer them.

On average, restaurants feature nine green salad options across appetizers, sides, and entrees. Since 2005, most green salad menus have expanded, with growth led by QSRs and midscale restaurants.

Caesar salad is the most menued salad variety at restaurants, featured on over half of menus. Salads calling out trending vegetables (kale, brussels sprouts, arugula) are among the fastest growing green salad varieties.

Operators menu salads throughout the day, with lunch by far the most common daypart. One-third of operators overall offer salads in the morning, likely reflecting grab-and-go choices; nearly one-third of restaurants continue serving them into late-night hours.

Sales of green salads are rising for four in ten operators. Strong performance could prompt those experiencing flat or declining sales to reevaluate their salad offerings for on-trend varieties, craveability, and revenue potential.

Green salads act as a creative outlet and profit driver for half of operators. However, green salads are only grudgingly offered by nearly a third of foodservice outlets; focusing on ease of preparation and profitability are essential to increasing operator interest.

MenuTrends Keynotes combine the extensive detail of MenuTrends with the opinions and behaviors of over 1,000 consumers nationwide and insights from over 300 operators from Datassential’s OPERA™ panel, the industry’s largest with over 30,000 restaurant, retail, and on-site operators. We take a complete look at both leafy green and deli salads at home, away from home, and from retail foodservice by delving into attitudes and usage regarding salad varieties and components. You’ll learn about…

Last Green and Deli Salad Occasion
Explore at-home and away-from-home consumption of both green salads and deli salads: incidence and frequency; most common varieties and components; dayparts and mealparts.

Salad Attitudes
Understand what consumers look for in green and deli salads; gauge consumer affinity for salads by segment; ascertain the importance of healthy and premium salad terms; discover operator goals and challenges around salads; compare consumer interest in emerging salad trends with operator offerings.

Green Salad Components
Discern consumer affinity for different varieties of leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, proteins, cheeses, and toppings; discover which product formats are most commonly purchased by both consumers and operators; learn how and why operators
customize salad dressings.

Demographic Influence on Salad Consumption
Learn how generational and parental status affect salad attitudes and consumption, including frequency, motivators and barriers, daypart and mealpart preferences.

Restaurant Menus
Identify the most-menued and fastest-growing ingredients and flavors within green and deli salads; understand salad ingredients and flavors most associated with each season; compare chain vs. independent and LSR vs. FSR trends.

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.

Datassential makes the food industry smarter. We provide trend software, predictive analytics, and consumer insights that help manufacturers, food retailers, and chain restaurants innovate and sell more intelligently.

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