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More consumers want to know what's in their food

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Today's healthy food tells a story and consumers want to hear it.

Recent research by Technomic shows that most consumers want restaurants to be more transparent about menu-item ingredients. Further, two in five consumers cite a rising concern over food additives.

Because of this growing concern, health claims that convey wholesome, pure ingredients resonate strongly. For example, consumers say fresh, natural or unprocessed attributes help improve perceived taste and health. Similarly, ingredients that naturally boost the nutrition content of an item, such as fruits and vegetables, also enhance taste and health perceptions.

"Menu transparency is imperative and can help drive sales of healthy options," said Sara Monnette, senior director of Consumer Insights & Innovation at Technomic Inc. "Telling an ingredient's story – whether it's farm-raised, local or GMO-free for instance, can directly impact consumer decisions about what to order and where to dine."

Monnette also says access to this type of information at restaurants often makes consumers more likely to order what they perceive as a healthier item because it allows them to judge its nutritional benefit for themselves.

To help food service executives understand the latest consumer behaviors, preferences and attitudes regarding healthy eating, Technomic has published an update of its Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report.

Interesting findings include:

  • 62 percent of consumers believe restaurants can offer food that is both healthy and tasty.
  • Consumers are more likely to eat healthy in order to maintain a balanced or nutritious diet than to control their weight.
  • Consumers are most likely to buy healthy items at fast-casual and casual-dining concepts.
  • Roughly one in four Millennials expects to purchase gluten-free packaged items more often now that gluten-free retail foods cannot have a detectable level of gluten.

Technomic's Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report is one of many topics in its Consumer Trend Report series, offering the most current analysis, insight and opportunities to help grow your business. Our best-in-class intelligence combines 50 years of foodservice expertise with critical findings from over 7,000 menus and nearly 30,000 annual consumer interviews.

To learn more, please visit Technomic.com or contact one of the individuals listed below. For Technomic updates, please follow us on TwitterLinkedIn or our blog

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