18 Oct Find Your Green Rush: How Salads Are Transforming Menus
Restaurants and Chefs have been all over the latest trend in the industry of eating more “healthful”, but let’s get back to basics and focus on the original star of the show: Salads.
It’s no secret that warmer weather causes a spike in salad sales; Mintel reports that the U.S. saw a 208% increase in seasonal salads from 2012 to 2015. However, this isn’t just a result of Americans becoming more and more health conscious. Restaurants have taken note of salads’ growing popularity, and capitalized on it by developing new ways of offering them to hungry customers.
Clearly, restaurants’ old practice of simply labeling menu items as “healthy” isn’t enough for consumers anymore; they’re becoming more sophisticated when it comes to their nutritional needs and look for specific health indicators or buzzwords, such as “gluten-free”, “healthful” and the most popular “all natural”. According to Mintel, this change helps explain the point that salad menu claims increased 29% for gluten-free callouts from Q1 2012-15.
According to Technomic, 76% of consumers “sometimes” order salad at a restaurant, but in order to continue driving purchases, restaurants need to continue innovating by developing more interesting flavor combinations while also presenting them in a colorful, fresh manner. Restaurant chains like BJ’s and Pollo Tropical have both jumped on this trend, creating different ethnic mashups like a Thai Mango Chicken Salad and Tangy Pineapple Chicken Salad.
Another way restaurants generate salad sales is by creating an air of exclusivity and urgency by offering limited-time offers. By using social media to advertise limited-time items, restaurants also interact directly with the most sought after consumer group, the tech-savvy millennials.
The foodservice industry as a whole are rapidly implementing tactics to attract new health-conscious, flavor-fusion seeking customers and keep them coming back. Forget the Gold Rush; we’re in the middle of a Green Rush.
To celebrate salads’ this summer, check out some of our exciting recipes not only to tantalize your taste buds, but to appeal to your craving of more healthful ethnic fusion dishes. ¡Buen provecho!