Consumers Want Healthy Options, May Not Order Them

November 11/Chicago/Food & Beverage Close-Up -- Technomic's newest study finds that nearly half of consumers want healthier menu items, but only about a quarter of them actively consider nutrition when dining out.

"There is often a disconnect between consumers' intentions and their actions," says Technomic EVP Darren Tristano. "Many consumers are actually making substantial changes to their overall habits, even basing which restaurants they frequent in part based on their impressions of the healthfulness of the brands. However, as many of us know from personal experience, diners do not always follow through on their intentions once it is time to order."

The "2010 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report" was developed by Technomic to help restaurants, manufacturers, and suppliers stay on top of consumer attitudes and trends as they relate to healthy eating. The group noted interesting findings include:

- Only 19%of consumers feel that food described as "healthy" on the menu does not taste as good as other options. Contrary to previously held beliefs, it appears more consumers feel that foods labeled as healthy can still be satisfying.

- Consumers strongly disagree with the notion that the restaurant industry is responsible for America's obesity epidemic, with only 16% placing blame solely on restaurants.

- Consumers confirm that their eating behavior differs significantly for at-home and away-from-home dining occasions. Two out of five consumers describe their at-home eating as "very healthy" while only about a quarter say the same about away-from home dining.

From the November 12, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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