Nearly 50% of Americans Have Trouble Eating Healthy at Restaurants
Nearly 50% of Americans Have Trouble Eating Healthy at Restaurants

New research shows that more Americans expect healthier options when dining out—but they often find that their options are lacking.

More Americans might be looking to incorporate healthier, more well-balanced diets into their daily lives, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.

According to new research from Mintel, nearly half of all consumers agree that finding healthy items at a restaurant is too difficult, with 25 percent of Americans looking for nutritional claims on menus more in 2015 than the year before. A whopping 68 percent of consumers also agree that more restaurants should call out healthy claims on menus, while 64 percent of consumers believe that when a restaurant does have healthy dishes, they’re often too expensive.

But despite the growing interest in healthier options, consumers aren’t afraid to indulge now and then, too. According to the research, 62 percent of restaurant goers agree that taste is more important than nutrition, with 86 percent saying that dining out is a treat. To strike the right balance, more restaurants are introducing healthier side options (sorry, French fries) and more veggie-centric main dishes.

“As Americans adopt a more holistic approach to their diets, they expect clarity from foodservice establishments, specifically by making items easily identifiable and including more nutritional claims on menus. At the same time, many consumers view dining out as a way to indulge,” says Caleb Bryan, foodservice analyst at Mintle. “Restaurants should offer consumers a way to indulge and also incorporate nutrition by expanding menus to include more healthy sides, while also showcasing healthful preparation methods, such as grilled instead of fried foods. This provides options for whatever mood diners are in, whether they want to eat healthy, are looking to indulge, or possibly do both.”

Click here to read the full report.