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Healthy Dining Trends - US - May 2009

This report explores healthy dining trends—identifying key developments that are changing consumer habits and perceptions about health and food, and how restaurants are reacting to these needs. The report covers industry activity in and consumer attitudes and behavior towards full-service restaurants, fast casual restaurants, and fast food restaurants, as well as pizza restaurants and coffeehouses.

Throughout this report, you will find thoughtful discussion on topics that include:

  • Insight on how restaurants can increase ticket sales by adding healthy items to the menu
  • Discussion of the effects and opportunities due to forthcoming federal legislation regarding menu transparency
  • Discussion and analysis of how the recession is negatively impacting consumers’ tendencies to dine out, including ways to curtail declining guest traffic and motivate purchases
  • How changes in obesity rates impacts what’s on the menu
  • An in-depth look into “healthy” restaurant innovations—focus on freshness, fat, calories, allergens, salt and small bites emerge as leading trends
  • Discovery of innovative ways restaurants can market health using positive messaging, freshness and affordability to encourage use
  • Consideration of innovation of “unhealthy” menu items along with the realization that the majority of new menu items are the antithesis of healthy
  • Weighs rationales for dining out in terms of hunger, health and satiation

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

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

                  • Recession causes consumers to dine out less
                    • Spinning health on the menu
                      • Americans continue to battle obesity
                        • Movement towards transparent menus
                          • Government stepping in to help Americans get healthy
                            • Innovative efforts
                              • Consumers want help
                                • Health on the menu
                                  • Marketing health
                                    • Dining out offers opportunity to splurge
                                      • Focus: Yum! Brands’ KFC adapting to health trends
                                        • Healthy dining and the consumer
                                          • Where consumers dine
                                            • The disconnect—doing and believing
                                              • Taste and satiation trigger consumers to order menu items
                                                • What’s a healthy meal?
                                                  • Attitudes and behaviors towards eating healthy
                                                    • Who wants to know?
                                                      • Healthy eaters spend more
                                                        • As frequent diners, moms and dads demand health
                                                        • Insights and Opportunities

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • There’s money in your health
                                                                • Figure 1: Menu item mean cost, by importance of eating healthy, February 2009
                                                              • Spinning value for healthy items
                                                                • Eliminate the veto factor
                                                                  • Navigating the future of menu transparency
                                                                  • Inspire Insights

                                                                      • Me, Me, Me: Why Freedom and Obesity Go Hand in Hand
                                                                        • What's it about?
                                                                          • What we've seen
                                                                            • Freedom to Eat: The American Way
                                                                              • David versus Goliath: menu regulation versus freedom of choice
                                                                                • Analogies, please
                                                                                  • The solution? Regulate the individual, not the menu.
                                                                                    • The LEAN Act up close: what menu regulation?
                                                                                      • The individual eater has little to fear.
                                                                                        • The restaurant industry has little to fear.
                                                                                        • Market Factors

                                                                                          • Restaurant industry recession continues
                                                                                            • Figure 2: Restaurant Performance Index, current situation, and expectations, November 2007-February 2009
                                                                                          • All restaurant segments affected
                                                                                            • Consumer confidence undermines willingness to spend at restaurants
                                                                                              • Figure 3: Consumer Sentiment Index, by quarter, 2001-08
                                                                                              • Figure 4: Restaurant spend compared to last year, February 2009
                                                                                            • Breaking the “healthy” price barrier
                                                                                              • Americans making healthier choices—restaurants react
                                                                                                • Figure 5: Weighing healthy item expense, interest, and usage—adults, by presence of children, February 2009
                                                                                              • Transparency: the new government mandate
                                                                                                • Beware: Accurate data essential
                                                                                                  • Adapting transparency to the consumer
                                                                                                  • Restaurant Innovation: Health on the Menu

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Health defined
                                                                                                        • Freshness means healthy
                                                                                                          • Cutting the fat
                                                                                                            • Figure 6: Incidence of fat claims on the menu, Q1 2007-Q1 2009
                                                                                                          • Counting calories
                                                                                                            • Figure 7: Incidence of calorie claims on the menu, Q1 2007-Q1 2009
                                                                                                          • Food allergies—nothing to sneeze at
                                                                                                            • Figure 8: Incidence of gluten/wheat claims on the menu, Q1 2007-Q1 2009
                                                                                                          • Pinch of salt
                                                                                                            • Small bites
                                                                                                            • Restaurant Innovation: Marketing the Healthy Menu

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Marketing health—where to start?
                                                                                                                  • First step: The power of positive messaging
                                                                                                                    • Slam dunk—market freshness
                                                                                                                      • Figure 9: Incidence of fresh claims on the menu, Q1 2007-Q1 2009
                                                                                                                    • Making healthy options affordable
                                                                                                                    • Restaurant Innovation: Menu Transparency

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Leaders in menu transparency
                                                                                                                          • Subway
                                                                                                                            • Uno’s Chicago Grill
                                                                                                                              • Restaurants highlighting the “healthy stuff”
                                                                                                                                • Healthfulness is deceptive
                                                                                                                                • Restaurant Innovation: Anti-Health

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Fattening fare tempts consumers…
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 10: Marketing claims of new menu food and beverage items, Q1 2009
                                                                                                                                      • …all across the menu
                                                                                                                                        • Anti-health on the menu—ignorance is bliss
                                                                                                                                        • Brand Qualities: Adapting to the Health Trend

                                                                                                                                          • Fast food charged as culprit in obesity, forcing brands to change their image
                                                                                                                                            • Yum! Brands striking a balance
                                                                                                                                              • Revolutionizing the KFC brand
                                                                                                                                                • Rebranding for health
                                                                                                                                                  • Focus on freshness
                                                                                                                                                    • Making it affordable to eat healthy
                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Restaurant Segment and Daypart Usage

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Restaurant usage, by daypart: an overview
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 11: Types of restaurants visited in the past month, by daypart, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                          • Demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 12: Types of restaurants visited in the past month, by age, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 13: Types of restaurants visited in the past month, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 14: Types of restaurants visited in the past month, by income, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Addendum: Consumer question explanation
                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer Diet Self-Perceptions and Importance of Eating Healthy

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Consumer diet self-perceptions, degree of healthfulness, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Importance of eating healthy, degree of importance, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Consumer diet self-perceptions and importance of eating healthy, by gender, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Consumer diet self-perceptions and importance of eating healthy, by age, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Consumer diet self-perceptions and importance of eating healthy, by income, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Weighing Rationales for Dining Out: Hunger, Health, and Satiation

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Breakfast and dinner ordering preferences: hunger, health, and satiation, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographic analysis: Breakfast ordering preferences
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Breakfast ordering preferences: hunger, health, and satiation, by age, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Breakfast ordering preferences: hunger, health, and satiation, by income, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographic analysis: Dinner ordering preferences
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Dinner ordering preferences: hunger, health, and satiation, by gender, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Dinner ordering preferences: hunger, health, and satiation, by age, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Rating a “Healthy Meal” and Weighing Ingredients

                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Rating a “healthy” meal: freshness, taste, and satiation, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Demographic analysis: Healthy meal attributes
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Rating a “healthy” meal: freshness, taste, and satiation, by age, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Rating a “healthy” meal: freshness, taste, and satiation, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Demographic analysis: Healthy meal ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, by gender, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, by age, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, by income, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Weighing Healthy Item Expense, Interest, and Usage

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Weighing healthy item: expense, interest, and usage, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Weighing healthy item: expense, interest, and usage, by gender, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Weighing healthy item: expense, interest, and usage, by age, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Weighing healthy item: expense, interest, and usage, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Interest in Menu Transparency Innovations

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Interest in menu transparency innovations, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Interest in menu transparency innovations, by gender, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Interest in menu transparency innovations, by age, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Interest in menu transparency innovations, by income, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Custom Groups: Menu Item Ordering and Cost and Consumer Healthfulness

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Setting the stage
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Importance of eating healthy, degree of healthfulness, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Menu item ordering behavior and mean cost, by importance of eating healthy
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Menu item ordering and mean cost, by menu item, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Menu item ordering, by menu item, by importance of eating healthy, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Menu item mean cost, by menu item, by importance of eating healthy, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Custom Groups: Restaurant Spend and Consumer Healthfulness

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Changes in restaurant spending habits
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Restaurant spend compared to last year, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Restaurant spend and consumer healthfulness: moms/dads versus men/women without kids
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Restaurant spend compared to last year, by custom groups, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Types of restaurants visited in the past month, by custom groups, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Weighing healthy item expense, interest, and usage, by custom groups, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Skinnies
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Trackers
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Freshies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Healthy dining clusters, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Restaurant spend compared to last year, by healthy dining clusters, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Restaurant dayparts visited in the past month, by healthy dining clusters, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Types of restaurants visited in the past month, by healthy dining clusters, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, by healthy dining clusters, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Weighing healthy item: expense, interest, and usage, by healthy dining clusters, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Interest in menu transparency innovations, by healthy dining clusters, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Healthy dining clusters, by gender, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Healthy dining clusters, by age, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Healthy dining clusters, by income, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Healthy dining clusters, by race, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Healthy dining clusters, by Hispanic origin, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix: Additional Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Consumer diet self-perceptions and importance of eating healthy, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Breakfast ordering preferences: hunger, health, and satiation, by household size, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Dinner ordering preferences: hunger, health, and satiation, by income, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Rating a “healthy” meal: freshness, taste, and satiation, by income, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, by household size, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Weighing healthy item: expense, interest, and usage, by income, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • A&W All-American Food Restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • ABP Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • American Dietetic Association (ADA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Applebee's International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Arby's Restaurant Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Atlanta Bread Company International, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Boston Market Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Brinker International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Burger King Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Caribou Coffee Company Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Claim Jumper Restaurants LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Dannon Co
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Darden Restaurants Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Del Taco, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Denny's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Food Distributors International
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Food Marketing Institute
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Golden Corral Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Food Information Service
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Franchise Association (IFA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Fresh-Cut Produce Association (IFPA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • International Hotel and Restaurants Association (IH&RA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Jamba Juice Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • KFC Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Legal Sea Foods Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Little Caesar Enterprises Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Long John Silver's Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Los Angeles Times
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • National Institutes of Health
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • National Nutritional Foods Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • National Restaurant Association (NRA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Organic Trade Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Papa John's International, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Pizza Hut Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Produce Marketing Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Reuters Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • River Ranch Fresh Foods LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ruby Tuesday Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Subway
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Taco Bell Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • The Quiznos Master LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • The Vegetarian Resource Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • The Wendy's Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Weight Watchers International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Yum! Brands Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Healthy Dining Trends - US - May 2009

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