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Healthy Dining Trends - US - July 2014

“Healthy eating in America is not only a hot topic in the industry, it is also a source of growth (or growing pains) for many foodservice operators. Consumers are now highly knowledgeable about what types of foods they should be consuming, and which ones would best benefit their bodies. Along with that amount of knowledge comes extreme scrutiny on the restaurant industry that has to combat the “unhealthy” reputation. In order to break through to healthy-minded consumers, restaurants will need to provide natural, good-for-you foods that appeal to both the younger consumers who are adapting holistic eating habits, and mature consumers who don’t often associate health with restaurants.”
– Katrina Fajardo, Foodservice Analyst

This report answers the following questions:

  • Can restaurants overcome the “unhealthy” stigma?
  • Has the definition of health changed?
  • What drives customers to choose a healthy item?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Mintel Menu Insights
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • Market drivers
                        • The consumer
                          • Preparation, according to consumers, is key in determining whether foods are healthy
                            • Figure 1: Healthy attribute descriptions, April 2014
                          • Strong descriptions and familiarity help consumers pick healthy foods, but treating oneself is still a driver for restaurant visits
                            • Figure 2: Healthy eating habits of consumers at restaurants, April 2014
                          • Fear of missing out (on other foods) is a real feeling among consumers
                            • Figure 3: Healthy eating habits of consumers at restaurants among consumer who chose “I feel like I am missing out when I order healthy items at restaurants,” by generation, April 2014
                          • Skipping appetizers is a way consumers cut down on calories; customization is another avenue for health
                            • Figure 4: Attitudes about personal dining habits and healthy items among appetizers, entrees, and sides, April 2014
                          • Healthy eating extends to beverages as well
                            • Figure 5: Attitudes regarding healthy beverage choices at restaurants, April 2014
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                              • Can restaurants overcome the “unhealthy” stigma?
                                • The issues
                                  • The implications
                                    • Has the definition of health changed?
                                      • The issues
                                        • The implications
                                          • What drives customers to choose a healthy item?
                                            • The issues
                                              • The implications
                                              • Trend Application

                                                  • Trend: Minimize Me
                                                    • Trend: Make it Mine
                                                      • Trend: Help Me Help Myself
                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Obesity rates in adults and children
                                                            • Figure 6: American adults, by weight category, as determined by body mass index (BMI), 2008-May 2014
                                                          • Exercise and dieting is growing in importance, but struggles to stick with consumers
                                                            • Increased health concerns increase demand for natural foods
                                                            • Competitive Context – In-Home Healthy Eating

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Healthy eating is easier to control at home
                                                                  • Holistic foods at home
                                                                    • Health in retail is covering all the nutritional bases
                                                                    • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                      • Using more healthy items to create indulgent dishes
                                                                        • Transparency
                                                                          • International health invasion
                                                                          • Marketing Strategies

                                                                            • Overview
                                                                              • Holistic attributes covers the whole picture of healthy dining
                                                                                • Protein Bar
                                                                                  • Native Foods
                                                                                    • Gluten-free on fine dining menus
                                                                                      • Calories still count when dining at restaurants
                                                                                        • Firehouse Subs
                                                                                          • Burger King’s Satisfries
                                                                                            • Healthy dining at restaurants starts at the prep station
                                                                                              • Chick-fil-A
                                                                                                • Fried seafood is losing its popularity among consumers
                                                                                                    • Figure 7: Seafood preparation claims on restaurant menus, by incidence, Q1 2011-Q1 2014
                                                                                                  • Make my beverages work for me – not against me
                                                                                                    • Planet Smoothie
                                                                                                      • Smoothie King
                                                                                                        • Jamba Juice
                                                                                                        • Social Media – Healthy Dining Trends

                                                                                                            • Key findings
                                                                                                              • Market overview
                                                                                                                • Key social media metrics
                                                                                                                  • Figure 8: Key social media metrics, June 2014
                                                                                                                • Brand usage and awareness
                                                                                                                  • Figure 9: Brand usage and awareness for selected restaurants, April 2014
                                                                                                                • Interactions with selected restaurants
                                                                                                                  • Figure 10: Interactions with selected restaurants, April 2014
                                                                                                                • Leading online campaigns
                                                                                                                  • Celebrity endorsements
                                                                                                                    • Marketing to parents and kids
                                                                                                                      • Going local
                                                                                                                        • Getting active
                                                                                                                          • What we think
                                                                                                                            • Online conversations
                                                                                                                              • Figure 11: Percentage of mentions between overall restaurant mentions and mentions of health, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                                              • Figure 12: Online mentions of selected restaurants and healthy terms, by month, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                                            • Where are people talking about restaurants?
                                                                                                                              • Figure 13: Online mentions of selected restaurants and healthy terms, by page type, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                                            • What are people talking about?
                                                                                                                              • Figure 14: Topics around online mentions of selected restaurants and healthy terms, by page type, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                                          • How Consumers Define Health in Restaurants

                                                                                                                            • Preparation remains the number one way consumers determine health
                                                                                                                              • Less/Low/No sodium and sugar may be losing meaning with restaurant patrons
                                                                                                                                • Whole grains and functional ingredients are lost in the healthy jumble
                                                                                                                                  • Consumers struggle with the idea of health at restaurants
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Healthy attribute descriptions, April 2014
                                                                                                                                • Healthy Eating Habits at Restaurants

                                                                                                                                    • Healthy foods are enticing when described in full
                                                                                                                                      • Some consumers are conflicted between a healthy meal or a personal treat
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 16: Healthy eating habits of consumers at restaurants, April 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Breakfast is an area of opportunity for healthy meals
                                                                                                                                        • Healthy snacking at restaurants remains underdeveloped
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Healthy meal consumption by daypart, April 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Menu Analysis

                                                                                                                                          • Calories count, but just don’t call it low-calorie
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: Healthy menu item claims on restaurant menus, by incidence, Q1 2011-Q1 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Low-carb loses its resonance, while gluten-free and alternative grains increase on menus
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 19: Top five grains included as an ingredient on restaurant menus, by incidence, Q1 2011-Q1 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Attitudes about personal dining habits and healthy items, April 2014
                                                                                                                                          • More appetizers and entrees are going gluten-free, and embracing healthy prep styles
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Appetizer menu item claims on restaurant menus, by incidence, Q1 2011-Q1 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Top 20 appetizer preparation claims on restaurant menus, by incidence, Q1 2011-Q1 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Top 20 entree menu item claims on restaurant menus, by incidence, Q1 2011-Q1 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Desserts on menus are getting a gluten-free lift
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Top 10 dessert menu items on restaurant menus, by incidence, Q1 2011-Q1 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Top 5 menu item claims on restaurant menus, by incidence, Q1 2011-Q1 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Healthy options and ingredients are showing growth on breakfast menus
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Top 10 breakfast menu items on restaurant breakfast menus, by incidence, Q1 2011-Q1 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Top 10 breakfast menu ingredients on restaurant breakfast menus, by incidence, Q1 2011-Q1 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Smoothies and lemonade are catching on at restaurants
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Attitudes regarding healthy beverage choices at restaurants, April 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Top 10 non-alcoholic beverages on restaurant menus, by incidence, Q1 2011-Q1 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Consumer Data – Overview

                                                                                                                                              • Restaurants remain a part of the vast majority of consumers’ lives
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Usage of restaurants, April 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Consumer Data – By Gender

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Holistic foods are appealing to women, while men look for functional foods
                                                                                                                                                    • Men are health-conscious snackers at restaurants
                                                                                                                                                      • Men willingly sacrifice health when dining out, but women are willing to trade out foods for healthy options
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Healthy attribute descriptions, by gender, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Healthy eating habits of consumers at restaurants, by gender, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Daypart order of healthy foods often, by gender, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Attitudes about personal dining habits and healthy items, by gender, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Data – By Income

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Higher-income consumers seek out healthy foods
                                                                                                                                                            • Less affluent consumers dine out for a treat – not for health
                                                                                                                                                              • Unhealthy foods and beverages are overlooked by consumers with incomes over $50K
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Healthy attribute descriptions, by household income, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Healthy eating habits of consumers at restaurants, by household income, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Attitudes about personal dining habits and healthy items, by household income, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Attitudes regarding healthy beverage choices at restaurants, by household income, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer Data – By Race

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Asian/Pacific Islanders visit restaurants more often than other races
                                                                                                                                                                    • Definitions of healthy restaurant items vary by race
                                                                                                                                                                      • White consumers skip menu items to save calories
                                                                                                                                                                        • Black and Asian/Pacific Island consumers are interested in alternative beverages
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Any usage of restaurants – Mean, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Healthy attribute descriptions, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Daypart order of healthy foods often or sometimes, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Attitudes about personal dining habits and healthy items, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Attitudes regarding healthy beverage choices at restaurants, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Data – By Hispanics

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Hispanics define health through holistic measures
                                                                                                                                                                            • Natural also extends to beverages
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Healthy attribute descriptions, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Daypart order of healthy foods often or sometimes, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Attitudes about personal dining habits and healthy items, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Attitudes regarding healthy beverage choices at restaurants, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer Data – By Generation

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Older adults define health as preventative healthy foods, while iGeneration/Millennials define it as holistic
                                                                                                                                                                                • The perceptions of health changes based on each generation
                                                                                                                                                                                  • The fear of missing out on unhealthy foods is real with iGeneration/Millennials
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Alternative versions of menu items and customization is considered healthy to iGeneration/Millennials
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Healthy attribute descriptions, by generations, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Healthy eating habits of consumers at restaurants, by generations, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Daypart order of healthy foods often or sometimes, by generations, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Attitudes about personal dining habits and healthy items, by generations, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Data – By Parents

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Holistic healthy eating is important to parents with kid(s) age 6-11
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Parents with kids eat healthy with the family when dining out, but feel as if they are missing out on other options
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Parents are setting an example by ordering healthy beverages at restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Healthy attribute descriptions, by parents with children in household, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Healthy eating habits of consumers at restaurants, by parents with children in household, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Attitudes about personal dining habits and healthy items, by parents with children in household, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Attitudes regarding healthy beverage choices at restaurants, by parents with children in household, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer Data – By Health Consciousness

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Balanced and High Health consumers define health holistically
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Health-focused habits follow Balanced and High Health consumers to restaurants, but Non-health-conscious consumers are not interested in health at all
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Limited Health consumers are concerned with calories
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Healthy attribute descriptions, by Health Groups, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Healthy eating habits of consumers at restaurants, by Health Groups, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Attitudes about personal dining habits and healthy items, by any restaurant users groups, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Attitudes regarding healthy beverage choices at restaurants, by any restaurant users groups, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data by Gender

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Any usage of restaurants – Mean, by gender, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Attitudes regarding healthy beverage choices at restaurants, by gender, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data by Income

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Any usage of restaurants – Mean, by household income, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Daypart order of healthy foods often or sometimes, by household income, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data by Hispanics

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Any usage of restaurants – Mean, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Healthy eating habits of consumers at restaurants, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data by Generation

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Any usage of restaurants – Mean, by generations, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Attitudes regarding healthy beverage choices at restaurants, by generations, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data by Parents

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Daypart order of healthy foods often or sometimes, by parents with children in household, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Social Media

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand usage or awareness
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Brand usage or awareness, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Jamba Juice usage or awareness, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Starbucks usage or awareness, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 72: Jason’s Deli usage or awareness, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 73: Einstein Bros usage or awareness, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 74: Chipotle usage or awareness, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Subway usage or awareness, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Activities done
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 76: Activities done, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 77: Jamba Juice – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 78: Jamba Juice – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 79: Jamba Juice – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 80: Starbucks – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 81: Starbucks – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 82: Starbucks – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 83: Starbucks – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 84: Jason’s Deli – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 85: Jason’s Deli – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 86: Einstein Bros – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 87: Einstein Bros – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 88: Chipotle – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 89: Chipotle – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 90: Chipotle – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 91: Subway – Activities done – I have looked up/talked about this brand online on social media, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 92: Subway – Activities done – I have contacted/interacted with the brand online on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 93: Subway – Activities done – I follow/like the brand on social media because, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 94: Subway – Activities done – I have researched the brand on social media to, by demographics, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key social media metrics
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 95: Key social media metrics – Starbucks, June 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 96: Key social media metrics – Chipotle, June 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 97: Key social media metrics – Subway, June 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 98: Key social media metrics – Jamba Juice, June 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 99: Key social media metrics – Einstein Bros, June 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 100: Key social media metrics – Jason’s Deli, June 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Online conversations
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 101: Percentage of mentions between overall restaurant mentions and mentions of health, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 102: Online mentions of selected restaurants and healthy terms, by month, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 103: Online mentions of selected restaurants and healthy terms, by page type, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 104: Topics around online mentions of selected restaurants and healthy terms, by page type, June 1, 2013-May 31, 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Healthy Dining Trends - US - July 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                                  £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)