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Healthy Dining Trends - US - July 2015

As Americans continue to be plagued with chronic diseases, such as obesity, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, etc, there is rising interest on the part of consumers to eat for better health. Since they visit restaurants so often, they seek better-for-you (BFY) restaurant foods. However, foodservice operators still struggle with providing foods that are healthier (and often costlier), while still delivering on taste. While there are more healthy-positioned items on the menus, consumer demand for items that fit into their diets (eg gluten- and allergen-free, etc) and that are more natural continues to rise. Operators who address these challenges will gain the loyalty of the more nutritionally conscious consumer.

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Consumers are focused on eating healthier
  • While focused on health, fast food is a regular reality for many
  • Consumers dine at home more, because it’s healthier

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Consumers are focused on eating healthier
            • Figure 1: Attitudes and Opinions about Diet and Health, February 2014-March 2015
          • While focused on health, fast food is a regular reality for many
            • Figure 2: Types of restaurants consumers visit, April 2015
          • Consumers dine at home more, because it’s healthier
            • Figure 3: Changes in eating behaviors, more, April 2015
          • The opportunities
            • Older consumers want specific guidance to help with their dietary needs
              • Figure 4: Attitudes toward healthy menu descriptors, by generation, April 2015
            • Hispanics need more information to eat healthier
              • Figure 5: Behaviors associated with beverages in restaurants, by Hispanic origin, April 2015
            • A balanced diet requires both fruits and vegetables
              • Figure 6: Attitudes about eating healthy in restaurants, by age of children in household, April 2015
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Despite a desire for better health, consumers still visit fast food places the most
                • Consumers find it difficult to dine healthy when out with friends
                  • Consumers find healthier foods to be expensive
                  • Market Factors

                    • Consumers want to be healthier
                      • Figure 7: Attitudes and Opinions about Diet and Health, February 2014-March 2015
                    • Consumers dine out frequently and fast food is affordable
                      • Figure 8: Types of restaurants consumers visit, April 2015
                    • Healthier foods must be more affordable, especially for younger consumers
                      • Figure 9: Median household income in US dollars, by age of householder, 2013
                    • Obesity continues to plague Americans
                      • Figure 10: Percentage of men aged 20 or older who are obese, by age and obesity 1* grade, 2009-12
                      • Figure 11: Percentage of women aged 20 or older who are obese, by obesity 1* grade, 2009-12
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • Foodservice is focusing more on health
                      • The customization of restaurant foods is extending to specific diets
                        • Consumers are focused on the purity of their foods
                        • What’s Working?

                          • Foodservice marketers focus on health
                          • What’s Next?

                            • Dietitian-approved restaurant meals
                              • Natural and minimally processed foods
                                • Keep a watchful eye on sodium
                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                  • Consumers say they want to eat healthier but still visit fast food restaurants frequently
                                    • More people are eating at home because it’s healthier
                                      • Consumers need more menu information to make better choices
                                      • Consumers Visit Fast Food Most Often, Despite Focus on Health

                                        • Older Millennials gravitate to a variety of restaurant types
                                            • Figure 12: Types of restaurants consumers visit, April 2015
                                            • Figure 13: Types of restaurants consumers visit, by generation, April 2015
                                        • Affordability Drives Fast Food Sales

                                          • Higher income leads to higher interest in natural foods
                                            • Figure 14: Types of restaurants consumers visit, by gender and age, Men, April 2015
                                            • Figure 15: Types of restaurants consumers visit, by gender and age, Women, April 2015
                                            • Figure 16: Changes in eating behaviors at restaurants, More, ages 18-34 by income. April 2015
                                        • Consumers Clean Their Plates

                                          • They find it hard to eat healthy when dining with friends
                                              • Figure 17: Attitudes about eating healthy in restaurants, by age, April 2015
                                              • Figure 18: Eating habits while dining out, by age, April 2015
                                          • Eating at Home More for Health

                                            • Consumers looking for better control of their diets
                                              • Figure 19: Changes in eating behaviors at restaurants, more, April 2015
                                          • Consumers Drawn to “Fresh” Descriptors

                                            • Older consumers seek descriptors to help with diets
                                                • Figure 20: Attitudes toward healthy menu descriptors, by generation, April 2015
                                                • Figure 21: Healthy menu descriptors preferred, by gender, April 2015
                                            • Beverages are an Easy Way for Women to Cut Calories

                                              • Soda continues to decline and beverages resonate less with women than men
                                                  • Figure 22: Attitudes regarding beverages in restaurants, by gender, April 2015
                                              • Middle Income Earners Want More Menu Information

                                                • A higher income makes eating healthy more affordable
                                                  • Figure 23: Attitudes about eating healthy in restaurants, by income, April 2015
                                              • Parents Seek Purer Foods for Younger Children

                                                • Fathers have more income to eat healthy than mothers do
                                                    • Figure 24: Attitudes about eating healthy in restaurants, by parents, April 2015
                                                    • Figure 25: Healthy menu descriptors preferred, by age of children in household, April 2015
                                                • Social Media Users are Frequent Restaurant Visitors

                                                  • Social media users visit restaurants more often and are more discerning
                                                    • Figure 26: Frequency of restaurant visits, by use of social media, April 2015
                                                    • Figure 27: Healthy eating attitudes, by use of social media, April 2015
                                                • More Interest in Vegetables than Fruit

                                                  • Parents of young children lean towards veggies and meat
                                                    • Figure 28: Attitudes about eating healthy in restaurants, by age, April 2015
                                                    • Figure 29: Attitudes about eating healthy in restaurants, by age of children in household, April 2015
                                                • Hispanics Engage in More Healthy Eating Behaviors

                                                  • But they need more information about what eating healthy means
                                                    • Figure 30: Changes in eating behaviors at restaurants, More, by Hispanic origin, April 2015
                                                    • Figure 31: Behaviors associated with beverages in restaurants, by Hispanic origin, April 2015
                                                • Profiles of Consumers Paying More for Healthy Foods

                                                  • Healthy-minded parents focused on fresh are a good target
                                                    • Figure 32: Changes in Restaurant Eating Behaviors – CHAID – Tree output, April 2015
                                                  • Four consumer groups willing to pay more for healthier foods
                                                      • Figure 33: Changes in restaurant eating behavior– CHAID – Table output, April 2015
                                                  • Menu Analysis – Healthy Dining Trends

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Leading preparations include healthy-positioned methods
                                                        • Figure 34: Leading preparations of ingredients on menus, Q1 2012-Q1 2015
                                                      • Vegetarian and gluten-free menus increase
                                                        • Figure 35: Leading types of menus at restaurants, Q1 2012-Q1 2015
                                                      • Menu claims focus on lighter fare and minimally processed foods
                                                        • Figure 36: Leading ingredients claims on restaurant menus, Q1 2012-15
                                                      • Most menu items don’t have claims, a missed opportunity to convey information to consumers
                                                        • Figure 37: Specified menu item claims, Q1 2012-Q1 2015
                                                      • Use menu to inform consumers with detailed information
                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, CHAID Methodology, and Abbreviations

                                                        • Data sources
                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                              • Mintel Menu Insights
                                                                • CHAID analysis methodology
                                                                  • Abbreviations and Terms
                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                      • Terms
                                                                      • Appendix – Market

                                                                          • Figure 38: US median household income, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2003-13
                                                                          • Figure 39: Median household income of families with children, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2003-13
                                                                      • Appendix – Consumers

                                                                          • Figure 40: Median household income, by age of householder, 2013
                                                                          • Figure 41: Median household income, by type of household, 2013
                                                                          • Figure 42: Percent of people aged 20 or older who are obese, by gender and age, and obesity grade, 2009-12

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                                                                      Healthy Dining Trends - US - July 2015

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