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Healthy Dining Trends - US - March 2016

The nature of health is shifting away from counting calories and moving towards a focus on holistic “wellness.” New restaurants are entering the market with an emphasis on natural, nutritious, and quick meals designed to attract diners stressed for time but wanting healthful meals. Restaurants must understand what motivates diners to eat healthfully and what healthy descriptors are most appealing to consumers in order to lure in those wanting to improve their overall health.

This Report examines consumer attitudes, behaviors, and trends towards eating healthy at restaurants. It will explain how restaurants are menuing healthy items using Mintel’s Menu Insights (MMI) database. It will also examine how restaurants provide healthful foods to consumers, how consumers feel about eating healthfully, and profile establishments that focus entirely on nutritious meals. It will also define how the very perception of health is changing in the country.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • In an effort to be healthy, consumers are eating at home and ordering fewer CSDs
            • Figure 1: Restaurant behavior changes compared to one year ago, December 2015
          • While consumers are concerned with health, many dine out as a treat
            • Figure 2: Healthy dining statement agreement, any agree, December 2015
          • Older diners are not willing to pay more for health
            • Figure 3: Healthful descriptor interest, would pay more, December 2015
          • The opportunities
            • Most diners are stressed for time
              • Figure 4: Attitudes towards health, “I don’t often have time to prepare/eat healthy meals”, any agree, Spring 2012-15
            • Opportunity for more healthful beverages
              • Figure 5: Restaurant beverage attitudes, December 2015
            • Market healthful substitutions to reach consumers
              • Figure 6: Healthy dining motivators, December 2015
            • Diners are most willing to pay for more antibiotic-free and high protein foods
              • Figure 7: Healthful descriptor interest, would pay more, December 2015
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Americans are struggling with health issues
                • Government guidelines and new laws shape how consumers eat
                  • The changing definition of “health”
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Foodservice Trend: Extreme Living Balance or Bust
                    • Market Factors

                      • Health in America by the numbers
                        • Figure 8: Percent of adults aged 18+ who are obese*, 2011-13
                        • Figure 9: Percent of students in grades 9-12 who are obese, 2001-12
                        • Figure 10: Number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes, 2000-14
                      • New health guidelines and regulations
                        • The fluidity of health
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Restaurants are highlighting what doesn’t go in their food
                            • Expect food safety to be a topic of interest throughout 2016
                              • New health-specific restaurants enter the market
                              • What’s Working?

                                • Free-from goes mainstream
                                  • Juice as a CSD alternative
                                    • Happy healthful kids
                                    • What’s Struggling?

                                      • Healthy does not equal safe
                                        • Chicken in every pot; the decline of red meat
                                          • Sugary soda struggles
                                          • What’s Next?

                                            • Vegetables become the star ingredient
                                              • Specific health-focused restaurants
                                                • Grab ‘n go health
                                                  • Emerging tech forces accountability
                                                  • MMI Analysis

                                                    • Healthy descriptors grow while healthy menus shrink
                                                      • Menu descriptors reflect changing perceptions of health
                                                        • Figure 11: % growth of the top 10 ingredient health descriptors, Q4 2012-Q4 2015
                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                      • There is a desire for health but consumers are stressed
                                                        • Diners are interested in making substitutions
                                                          • A percentage of diners will pay more for health
                                                            • Antibiotic-free and high protein are among the most profitable descriptors
                                                            • Consumer Health Overview

                                                              • Consumers want to be healthy but are rushed for time
                                                                • Figure 12: Attitudes towards health, “I don’t often have time to prepare/eat healthy meals”, any agree, Spring 2012-15
                                                              • Too much information leaves consumers confused
                                                                • Veggies everywhere
                                                                    • Figure 13: Attitudes towards health, “I am a vegetarian”, any agree, Spring 2012-15
                                                                • Healthy Behavior Changes

                                                                  • What’s good for diners isn’t good for restaurants
                                                                    • Figure 14: Restaurant behavior changes compared to one year ago, December 2015
                                                                  • Parents tend to focus on health; Dads turn to restaurants for utility
                                                                    • Figure 15: Restaurant behavior changes compared to one year ago, more than last year, December 2015
                                                                    • Figure 16: Statement agreement, any agree, December 2015
                                                                    • Figure 17: Restaurant behavior changes compared to one year ago, more than last year, December 2015
                                                                    • Figure 18: Restaurant beverages attitudes, December 2015
                                                                  • Healthy changes by region
                                                                    • Figure 19: Restaurant behavior changes compared to one year ago, more than last year, December 2015
                                                                • Healthy Claim Appeal

                                                                  • Interest high in low trans-fat, whole grains but consumers will pay for antibiotic-free and more protein
                                                                    • Figure 20: Healthful descriptor interest, December 2015
                                                                    • Figure 21: Healthful descriptor interest, would pay more for gluten-free, December 2015
                                                                  • Older diners want healthy foods…but are not willing to pay more for it
                                                                    • Figure 22: Healthful descriptor interest, would pay more, December 2015
                                                                    • Figure 23: Healthy dining encouragers, December 2015
                                                                • Beverages – Market for Low Sugar/Natural Drinks

                                                                  • Entice consumers with CSD alternatives
                                                                      • Figure 24: Restaurant beverage attitudes, December 2015
                                                                    • CHAID Analysis – Flavored waters
                                                                      • Methodology
                                                                        • Market flavored waters to young parents
                                                                          • Figure 25: Restaurant beverage attitudes – CHAID – Tree output, December 2015
                                                                        • Fine dining and coffee shop/beverage visitors most interested in healthful drinks
                                                                          • Figure 26: Restaurant beverage attitudes, December 2015
                                                                      • Healthy Dining Motivators

                                                                        • Consumers are most interested in making healthful substitutions
                                                                          • Figure 27: Healthy dining motivators, December 2015
                                                                        • Women express more interest in healthy motivators
                                                                          • Figure 28: Healthy dining motivators, December 2015
                                                                          • Figure 29: Healthy dining motivators, December 2015
                                                                      • Consumers and Healthy Dining

                                                                        • Consumers are looking for guidance when they dine out
                                                                            • Figure 30: Healthy dining statement agreement, any agree, December 2015
                                                                          • Young men turn to exercise for health
                                                                            • Figure 31: Healthy dining statement agreement, any agree, December 2015
                                                                          • Healthy item price is a huge barrier for lower income diners
                                                                              • Figure 32: Healthy dining statement agreement, many healthy dishes are too expensive, any agree, December 2015
                                                                            • Urbanites are among the ultra-healthy
                                                                                • Figure 33: Healthy dining statement agreement, any agree, many healthy dishes are too expensive, December 2015
                                                                                • Figure 34: Healthy dining motivators, December 2015
                                                                                • Figure 35: Healthful descriptor interest, would pay more for, December 2015
                                                                              • QSR diners are noticeably less interested in health
                                                                                  • Figure 36: Healthy dining statement agreement, any agree, many healthy dishes are too expensive, December 2015
                                                                              • Key Driver Analysis

                                                                                • Methodology
                                                                                  • Who is willing to pay more for healthful foods?
                                                                                    • Figure 37: Key drivers of willingness to pay more for healthy foods when dining out, December 2015
                                                                                • The Healthy Diner

                                                                                  • Certain diners will pay a premium for health
                                                                                    • Figure 38: Healthful descriptor interest, interested in and would pay more, December 2015
                                                                                    • Figure 39: Restaurant beverage attitudes, December 2015
                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                            • Figure 40: Attitudes towards health, “I don’t often have time to prepare/eat healthy meals”, any agree, Spring 2012-15
                                                                                            • Figure 41: Attitudes towards health, “I am a vegetarian”, any agree, Spring 2012-15
                                                                                        • Appendix – CHAID

                                                                                            • Figure 42: beverages at restaurants – CHAID – Table output, December 2016
                                                                                        • Appendix – Key Driver Analysis

                                                                                            • Interpretation of results
                                                                                              • Figure 43: Key drivers of willingness to pay more for healthy foods when dining out – Key driver output, December 2015

                                                                                          Companies Covered

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                                                                                          Healthy Dining Trends - US - March 2016

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