This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US healthy meals market including US Healthy Dining Trends market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the Healthy Dining Trends market in the US.

Current market landscape

The market for healthy dining is intricate, multi-layered and has an abundance of opportunities. From food halls setting an example with their mix of food diversity and convenience, to the rallying call for high protein everything.

An indication of pandemic-related fallout, diners settled into indulgence in 2021, resigned to seek comfort in food and drink. Consumers are now emerging from the haze and are turning to healthy dining in record numbers. Conveniences, including drivethru and takeout, will continue to be a favored means of restaurant meal procurement, particularly for busy families. LSRs have thrived in this realm but have been slow out of the gate in providing patrons with healthier options, which could ultimately make the difference between the choice of a restaurant meal, a prepared meal from retail or one that is home cooked.

Future healthy dining out trends

The challenge for operators is to provide dining out healthy options without bogging down the experience with nutrition numbers. Customers will want to know the basics of ingredients’ haves and have nots and can be better educated about the benefits of healthier eating in general.

Ultimately, considering healthy dining through a widened, holistic lens will be the biggest game changer. Removing the word “diet” from the equation and addressing balanced nutrition, mental health and the health of the planet will benefit the consumer, make the world a better place and boost bottom lines.

Read on to discover more about the US Healthy Dining Trends consumer market, read our US Family Dining Trends Market Report 2022, or take a look at our other Eating Habits and Food Trends market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • How healthy dining participation has trended from pre-pandemic to present time.
  • The pandemic’s impact on healthy dining – past, present and future.
  • The menu claims and menu options that are most appealing to consumers.
  • What types of restaurants are most visited and part of the consideration set for healthy dining.
  • Healthy dining out options

Covered in this report

Brands include: KFC, Panda Express, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Eleven Madison Park, Castalia, Chick-fli-A, Domino’s, Applebee’s, Olive Garden, Panera Bread, IHOP, Denny’s, Starbucks, Dunkin’, The Capital Grille, Morton’s Steakhouse.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Amanda Topper, a leading analyst in the Dining sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current healthy dining trends market research and add expert context to the numbers.

While healthy eating and restaurant dining both took a backseat throughout much of the pandemic, consumers are now primed and ready to reengage on both fronts. Looking at the concept of health through a wider lens and considering diners’ physical and mental wellbeing alongside the wellbeing of society and the planet will resonate on multiple levels.

Amanda Topper, U.S. Director of Research
Amanda Topper
Director, US Research

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US revenues and forecast of full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places*, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 2: Category outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
      • Figure 3: Healthy dining segmentation, 2019-2022
    • Healthy dining nearly at pre-pandemic levels
      • Figure 4: Changes in healthy dining, 2022
    • A wider variety of BFY claims is needed across segments
      • Figure 5: Interest in healthy menu options, by location, 2022
    • Emphasize protein content
      • Figure 6: Interest in healthy menu claims, 2022
  3. Market Factors

    • Pandemic continues to impact foodservice industry yet sees improvement
      • Figure 7: Total US revenues and forecast of full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places*, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 8: Total US revenues and forecast of full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places*, at current prices, 2016-26
    • Food costs overall will cause consumers to cut back on restaurant spending
      • Figure 9: Changes in consumer price indexes for food, 2019-22
    • Restaurant choices impacted by plummeting consumer confidence
      • Figure 10: Consumer Sentiment Index, 2010-22
    • Physical health issues on the rise
      • Figure 11: Age-adjusted prevalence of overweight and obesity among people aged 20 or older, 2001-02 to 2017-18
  4. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Healthy dining needs to be available and accessible
    • Convenience is a key driver
    • LSRs’ broad net brings greater attention to plant-based offerings
      • Figure 12: KFC Beyond Fried Chicken and Panda Express + Beyond Meat, 2022
    • Experiential healthy dining delivers on taste and visuals
      • Figure 13: Eleven Madison Park and Elizabeth Chicago, 2022
      • Figure 14: Castalia cocktails, 2022
    • Room for expansion of healthy dining in global cuisines
      • Figure 15: Guelaguetza Restaurant – Tlayuda, 2022
    • Broadening the concept of healthy dining beyond “diet”
    • Lean into the health of alcohol-free beverages
  5. The Healthy Dining Consumer: Fast Facts

    • Healthy dining is on the rebound
    • Diners are choosing to eat healthier more often
    • Restaurant ordering is on the rise
    • Protein content is the most desirable
  6. Healthy Dining Segmentation

    • Pandemic-related indulgence wanes
      • Figure 16: Healthy dining segmentation, 2022
    • Men have less-restrictive definitions of health
      • Figure 17: Healthy dining segmentation, by gender, 2022
    • Millennials and Gen X are the healthiest diners
      • Figure 18: Healthy dining segmentation, by generation, 2022
    • Adventure Eaters more likely to be Healthy Diners
      • Figure 19: Healthy dining segmentation, by food and drink segmentation, 2022
  7. Changes in Healthy Dining

    • Healthy diners emerge from the haze of indulgence
      • Figure 20: Changes in healthy dining, 2022
    • Millennials are eating healthier as options increase
      • Figure 21: Changes in healthy dining, by generation, 2022
    • If you provide it, they will come
      • Figure 22: Reasons for eating healthfully more often, 2022
    • Food halls provide lessons in how to get it right
      • Figure 23: Reasons for eating healthfully more often, by restaurant ordering, 2022
    • Those who eat healthfully less often are not core diners
      • Figure 24: Reasons for eating healthfully less often, 2022
  8. Restaurant Ordering Locations

    • LSRs ease into healthy options
      • Figure 25: Restaurant ordering locations, 2022
    • Healthy menu options warranted across foodservice industry
      • Figure 26: Restaurant ordering locations, by household income, 2022
    • Healthier options will attract Hispanic diners
      • Figure 27: Restaurant ordering locations, by Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Off-premise options the key to increased FSR ordering among Black diners
      • Figure 28: Restaurant ordering locations, by race, 2022
  9. Interest in Healthy Menu Claims

    • High protein muscles its way to the top
      • Figure 29: Meati chicken x Chef Tom Colicchio, 2022
      • Figure 30: Interest in healthy menu claims, 2022
    • Consumer interest and current menu offerings not in total alignment
      • Figure 31: Growth/decline of select healthy menu claims, Q3 2018-21
    • Promote ingredient functionality claims
      • Figure 32: Interest in healthy menu claims, by generation, 2022
    • Hispanics vested in healthy dining for overall health
      • Figure 33: Interest in healthy menu claims, by Hispanic origin, 2022
  10. Healthy Dining Options by Location

    • Highlight nutritional claims with plant-based menu options
      • Figure 34: Interest in healthy menu options, 2022
    • Sit down restaurants are the go-to for healthy dining claims
      • Figure 35: Interest in healthy menu options, by location, 2022
    • Parents most vested in healthy dining claims across foodservice industry
      • Figure 36: Interest in healthy menu options, by parental status, 2022
  11. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

Click to show report

Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Also, our reports come in PDF, Powerpoint, Word and Excel Databook formats.

Trusted by companies. Big and small.

Bell Logo - Mintel client
Boots Logo - Mintel Client
Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
Samsung Logo - Mintel client
Nike Logo - Mintel client
Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

Want to speak to us directly?

Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

Contact Us