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Healthy Dining Trends - US - May 2010

This report explores healthy dining trends in restaurants with attention to shifting consumer habits and perceptions towards health/wellness as it impacts restaurant usage. Mintel provides impactful analysis, discussion and insight including:

  • Opportunities that exist for industry players to appear more socially responsible by adopting healthier cooking practices and redefining expectations of a healthy meal by focusing on flavor first
  • The recession’s impact on consumer confidence and, in turn, restaurant usage and sales
  • The obesity epidemic—in both adults and children—and its influence on restaurant menu choices
  • The effect of recent federal government mandates that will require restaurants to post nutritional data on menus
  • A look at health on the menu by nutritional claims, identifying trends among the most widely used claims as well as ones gaining traction
  • How health trends are shaping consumer beverage choices, suggesting opportunities for industry players to woo customers with healthy beverage choices
  • Discussion of health on the kids’ menus, revealing more nutritional choices are still needed
  • How restaurant operators are marketing health on the menu using marketing claims (i.e. fresh), positive messaging and identification, and menu transparency
  • How consumers are increasingly interested in health, but taste still drives ordering decisions, encouraging an abundance of indulgent menu innovations
  • A comprehensive look into elements that drive successful marketing initiatives for a restaurant brand well known for its association with health and diet

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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
              • Advertising Creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • Economic uncertainty causes consumer price-sensitivity
                        • Restaurant sales a casualty of recession
                          • Awareness of obesity epidemic encourages healthier eating habits
                            • Federal government intervention for menu transparency
                              • Menu items with nutritional claims under represented
                                • Highlighting health is important on the beverage menu too
                                  • Health on the kids’ menu: It starts here
                                    • Marketing health: Freshness, positive messaging, transparency
                                      • Indulgence trumps health on restaurant menus
                                        • Subway markets health as an integral brand quality
                                          • Restaurant usage and dining out rationales
                                            • Diet changes and interest in healthy menu options
                                              • The price of healthy dining
                                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                                • Responsible cooking practices
                                                  • Focus on the healthy breakfast
                                                    • Figure 1: Trended data for attitudes towards breakfast—adults and teens, 2003-09
                                                • Inspire Insights

                                                    • Inspire Trend: Fit or Fat
                                                      • What it’s about
                                                        • A Balancing Act
                                                          • On the Menu
                                                            • Implications
                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                              • Recession pummels consumer confidence
                                                                  • Figure 2: Unemployment and underemployment rates, January 2007-March 2010
                                                                  • Figure 3: Real personal disposable income, January 2007-February 2010
                                                                  • Figure 4: Consumer Sentiment Index, March 2007-March 2010
                                                                • Restaurant sales a casualty of recession
                                                                  • Figure 5: Consumer Price Index for key consumer markets, March 2008-10
                                                                  • Figure 6: Restaurant Performance Index, current situation, and expectations, January 2009-March 2010
                                                                • Americans’ waistlines expand
                                                                  • Figure 7: Percentage of population who are overweight or obese—20-74 year olds, 1988-2006
                                                                  • Figure 8: Incidence of presently watching/controlling diet, 2003 and 2008
                                                                  • Figure 9: Reasons for watching/controlling diet, 2003 and 2008
                                                                • Obesity among children—concern for future obese adults
                                                                    • Figure 10: Percentage of population who are overweight or obese—2-19 year olds, by age, 1976-2006
                                                                  • It’s official: Government steps in with menu labeling requirements
                                                                    • Will it make a difference?
                                                                    • Menu Insights Analysis: Nutritional Claims

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Healthy dining is here to stay
                                                                          • Low fat marries health with taste
                                                                            • Hot trend: Gluten-free
                                                                              • The vegetarian movement
                                                                                • Calorie claims gaining momentum
                                                                                  • The next big thing: Reduced sodium
                                                                                      • Figure 11: Top 10 nutritional claims on menus, by incidence, Q1 2008-Q1 2010
                                                                                    • The price of health on the rise
                                                                                        • Figure 12: Top 10 nutritional claims on menus, by price, Q1 2008-Q1 2010
                                                                                    • Menu Insights Analysis: Health on the Beverage Menu

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Health trends shape consumer restaurant beverage choices
                                                                                            • Figure 13: Top 10 non-alcoholic beverage types at restaurants, Q1 2008-Q1 2010
                                                                                          • Integrating health on the beverage menu
                                                                                              • Figure 14: Top five non-alcoholic tea beverages, by incidence of nutritional claim, Q1 2008-Q1 2010
                                                                                          • Menu Insights Analysis: Health on the Kids’ Menu

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • It all starts here
                                                                                                • Nutritional choices in need
                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Incidence of nutritional claims on children’s menus, Q1 2008-Q1 2010
                                                                                                  • QSRs and fast casual lead healthy offerings
                                                                                                      • Figure 16: Incidence of nutritional claims on children’s menus, by restaurant segment, Q1 2010
                                                                                                    • Navigating the future of menu transparency: focus on the kids’ menu
                                                                                                    • Menu Insights Analysis: Marketing Health on the Menu

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • The fresh factor
                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Fresh marketing claim, by incidence and price, Q1 2008-Q1 2010
                                                                                                        • Quality counts
                                                                                                          • Menu messaging
                                                                                                            • Planning to eat healthfully
                                                                                                              • Healthy designation
                                                                                                                • Progressive marketing: Explaining the benefits
                                                                                                                  • Menu transparency: Show me the calories
                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Applebee’s television ad, January 2010
                                                                                                                  • Menu Insights Analysis: Still Indulging

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • All aboard the bus to indulgence
                                                                                                                        • Frying is the top preparation method of food items
                                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Top 10 preparation methods of food items on menus, by incidence, Q1 2008-Q1 2010
                                                                                                                        • Fresh doesn’t always mean healthy
                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Top 10 marketing claims on menus, by incidence, Q1 2008-Q1 2010
                                                                                                                        • Indulgent innovations abound
                                                                                                                        • Brands and the Advertising Landscape

                                                                                                                          • Overview
                                                                                                                            • Brand analysis: Subway
                                                                                                                              • Sales performance
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Brand analysis of Subway, 2010
                                                                                                                                • Being clear: Menu transparency
                                                                                                                                  • Perpetuating health perceptions
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Subway’s television ad, Get Fit Challenge, May 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Subway’s television ad, Chicken Salad Sandwich, July 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Subway’s television ad, Fresh Fit Meal, August 2009
                                                                                                                                  • Taste, value and daypart expansion
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Subway’s television ad, Honey Chipotle Chicken, July 2009
                                                                                                                                  • Adspend
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Select restaurant advertisers*, by segment, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                                                • Consumer Restaurant Segment and Daypart Usage

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Restaurant usage, by daypart: An overview
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Types of restaurants visited in the past month, by daypart, February 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Younger age groups most avid restaurant-goers
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Types of restaurants visited in the past month, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Trend-forward Asian demographic drawn to fast casual concepts
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Types of restaurants visited in the past month, by race/Hispanic origin, February 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Premium and health attract higher-income households
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Types of restaurants visited in the past month, by household income, February 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Addendum: Consumer question explanation
                                                                                                                                            • Consumer Diet Changes

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Notable shift to eating healthier when dining out
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Change in healthy eating habits, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • Younger age groups joining healthy dining movement
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Change in healthy eating habits, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Low-income households least likely to shift towards healthier eating
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Change in healthy eating habits, by household income, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                      • Strategies for eating healthier
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Eating healthier while dining out strategies, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Younger diners downsize; older patrons eschew fat and sodium
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Eating healthier while dining out strategies, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Weighing Rationales for Dining Out: Hunger, Health, and Satiation

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Ordering preferences by daypart
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Ordering preferences—hunger, health and satiation, by daypart, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Breakfast ordering preferences
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Breakfast ordering preferences—hunger, health and satiation, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Young age groups looking for healthy breakfast
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Breakfast ordering preferences—hunger, health and satiation, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Lunch ordering preferences
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Lunch ordering preferences—hunger, health and satiation, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                  • Lower income earners look for cheap eats at lunch
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Lunch ordering preferences—hunger, health and satiation, by household income, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                  • Dinner ordering preferences
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Dinner ordering preferences—hunger, health and satiation, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                  • Lower-income households order based on price
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Dinner ordering preferences—hunger, health and satiation, by household income, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Rating a “Healthy Meal” and Weighing Ingredients

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Healthy meal defined
                                                                                                                                                                      • Freshness is a necessary attribute of a healthy meal
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Rating a “healthy” meal—freshness, taste and satiation, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Fat content equally important to freshness
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographic analysis: Healthy meal attributes
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Rating a “healthy” meal—freshness, taste and satiation, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographic analysis: Healthy meal ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, by household income, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                    • Interest in Healthy Menu Items

                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • More healthy menu items needed
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Weighing healthy item—expense, interest and usage, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Women demanding health on the menu
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Weighing healthy item—expense, interest and usage, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Younger age groups associate health with organic/natural foods
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Weighing healthy item—expense, interest and usage, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer Attitudes toward Nutritional Disclosure

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • Menu transparency
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Interest in menu transparency innovations, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Women want nutritional information
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Interest in menu transparency innovations, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                • Older respondents less likely to want federal government’s intervention
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Interest in menu transparency innovations, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer Attitudes toward Restaurants’ Role Catering to Health

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer attitudes towards restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Attitudes toward restaurant responsiveness in healthy dining, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Women eating more at home
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Attitudes toward restaurant responsiveness in healthy dining, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Older consumers most satisfied with restaurants’ responsiveness in healthy dining
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Attitudes toward restaurant responsiveness in healthy dining, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Price of Eating Healthfully

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Pay for healthier items
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Willingness to pay more for healthier menu item, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Men show resistance to paying for health
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Willingness to pay more for healthier menu item, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Core 25-34 age group most willing to pay for health
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Willingness to pay more for healthier menu item, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Higher incomes can afford healthier menu items
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 61: Willingness to pay more for healthier menu item, by household income, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                            • How much is health worth?
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Price premium for healthy, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumers aged 25-34 will pay most for healthier menu items
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Price premium for healthy, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Higher income earners most willing to pay up to 10% more
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Price premium for healthy, by household income, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Custom Groups: Light, Medium and Heavy Visitors

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Healthy meal attributes
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Rating a “healthy” meal—freshness, taste and satiation, by usage, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Healthy meal ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, by usage, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Interest in healthy menu items
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Weighing healthy item—expense, interest and usage, by usage, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards nutritional disclosure
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Interest in menu transparency innovations, by usage, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards restaurants’ responsiveness
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Attitudes toward restaurant responsiveness in healthy dining, by usage, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The price of healthy menu items
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Willingness to pay more for healthier menu item, by usage, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Price premium for healthy, by usage, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Apathetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Healthers
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Reducers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Healthy dining clusters, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 73: Restaurant usage, by healthy dining clusters, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 74: Healthy dining attribute ratings, by healthy dining clusters, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 75: Attitudes toward healthy dining at restaurants, by healthy dining clusters, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: Important ingredient attributes of a “healthy” meal, by healthy dining clusters, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 77: Willingness to pay more for healthier menu item, by healthy dining clusters, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 78: Healthy dining clusters, by gender, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 79: Healthy dining clusters, by age, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 80: Healthy dining clusters, by household income, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 81: Healthy dining clusters, by race, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 82: Healthy dining clusters, by Hispanic origin, February 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • ABP Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • American Dietetic Association (ADA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • American Heart Association, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Applebee's International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Arby's Restaurant Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bob Evans Farms Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Boston Market Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Brinker International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bureau of Economic Analysis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Burger King Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Campbell Soup Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Caribou Coffee Company Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Claim Jumper Restaurants LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Darden Restaurants Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Del Taco, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Denny's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Dunkin' Brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Eden Foods Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Fiserv, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Food and Drug Administration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Food Distributors International
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Food Marketing Institute
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Golden Corral Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Hardee's Food Systems, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Institute of Medicine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 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)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Jack in the Box Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Jamie Oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • KFC Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kraft Foods Inc. (U.S.A.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Long John Silver's Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Los Angeles Times
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Monterey Gourmet Foods Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Association of Realtors (NAR)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Broadcasting Company, Inc. (NBC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Nutritional Foods Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Restaurant Association (NRA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • O'Charley's Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Organic Trade Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Panera Bread Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Papa John's International, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Pizza Hut Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Produce Marketing Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • River Ranch Fresh Foods LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ruby Tuesday Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Sonic Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Subway
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Taco Bell Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • TGI Friday's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Quiznos Master LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Vegetarian Resource Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Wendy's Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Tim Hortons (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • USA Today
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Washington Post Company (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • White Castle System, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Whole Foods Market Inc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Healthy Dining Trends - US - May 2010

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