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Consumers believe healthy can be tasty

Today’s restaurant diners are conflicted—their quest for new and exciting flavors is complicated by the desire to eat more healthfully. Most consumers now believe that “good for you” items can be at least as tasty as indulgent ones, reports MarketBriefing, produced by Technomic. But the quality and “oomph” of the food, cooking style, herbs and spices become more important when they’re not masked by lots of fat, calories and salt.

  • Close to 50% of full-service restaurant customers are seeking flexible portions of items that are low in fat, sodium, calories or sugar
  • 59% of consumers are looking for healthy portion sizes when it comes to choosing a restaurant; that trumps the desire for lower fat, sodium, calories and sugar
  • About one-third of diners are on the lookout for all-natural items, and one-fourth seek out organic items
  • When deciding on a restaurant to go to, 43% of customers think it’s very or somewhat important to post nutritional information on the menu
  • A growing number of consumers—41% men and 39% women—feel that nutritional data is useful in directing them to the healthiest foods, since they can’t necessarily figure that out on their own*

Source: American Express MarketBriefing; June, 2011
*American Express MarketBriefing, October, 2010