Restaurants Respond to Diet Restrictions

More restaurants are retooling their menus in response to consumers’ growing attention to food ingredients and nutritional value. A recent survey indicated 73% of consumers felt that restaurants …

More restaurants are retooling their menus in response to consumers’ growing attention to food ingredients and nutritional value. A recent survey indicated 73% of consumers felt that restaurants should be more transparent about the ingredients and health of their menu choices, according to food service analysts at Technomic. Some restaurants are responding by providing information about sugar, gluten and cholesterol content, while others add new menu items that cater to their customers’ dietary restrictions. For more on this continue reading the following article from Blue MauMau.

Restaurant operators are recognizing the growing number of Americans requiring controlled diet items in menus and are responding with descriptions that reference gluten, cholesterol, sugar and other health-related topics.Foodservice analysts at Technomic, Inc. think there is opportunity for restaurants that can cater to those in need of restrictive diet items.

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"Our data shows that certain areas within restrictive diets are growing in popularity, at least from a menu standpoint," says Technomic Director Mary Chapman. "Restaurant operators are increasingly rolling out gluten-free, cholesterol-free, lowfat and no-sugar menu offerings. At the same time, we’re seeing operators trying to accommodate consumers with health-related conditions by being transparent about their menu ingredients and making it easy to see which items include certain food allergens or are lower in, say, fat or sodium."

The foodservice researcher also discovered that 73 percent of surveyed consumers felt that restaurants should be transparent about their food’s fat, sodium and sugar content, as well as potential food allergens. Women feel even stronger about menu transparency than men. In addition, consumers polled in the Technomic survey cite high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure as the top three conditions that restrict their diet or that of a household member. One out of four consumers on a restrictive diet, or living with someone on a restrictive diet, believes that special dietary needs make it harder to eat out than to eat at home.

This article was republished with permission from Blue MauMau.

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