January 2012/Prepared Foods -- Menu items with descriptions that reference gluten, cholesterol, sugar and other health-related topics are expanding on restaurant menus as more operators recognize an increasing number of Americans adhere to special diets. Technomic’s director Mary Chapman states that “certain areas within restrictive diets are growing in popularity, at least from a menu standpoint.” This means restaurant operators are rolling out more gluten- and cholesterol-free, as well as low-fat/low-sugar options on menus. Simultaneously, operators are working to accommodate consumers with health-related conditions, via transparency about menu ingredients and easy-to-read menus that highlight which items contain certain food allergens or are lower in fat or sodium. To this end, Technomic has developed a “Restrictive Diets Market Intelligence Report” that provides invaluable information on such consumers, as well as industry and trend data. The report also provides examples of restaurants that have succeeded in accommodating patrons on controlled diets. Technomic Inc., www.technomic.com pf