Health Trend: Transparency

shutterstock_88865521The latest health trend among restaurants is transparency.  Learn how quick service restaurants and guests are shifting their perspective when it comes to eating healthy.

QSR

Tacobell announced it would be cutting the amount of sodium used in their menu items in early February. The Yum! Brand’s Inc chain, plans on reducing sodium levels by 15 percent over the next 5 years. It’s part of an initiative to lower sodium and fat across it’s brands including KFC and Pizzahut. In fact, PizzaHut has even rolled out a new gluten-free pizza earlier this year.

Mcdonald’s, which ended 2014 with declining sales, started airing short videos detailing where and how their food is made. The campaign was an effort to shed their negative image and create transparency with their products. The effectiveness of the campaign is still unknown. However, the videos have gained popularity with over 20 million views on Youtube.

Calorie-Labeling

The calorie-labeling rule requires restaurant chains, vending machines, and retail establishments offering food to list the caloric information of each menu item. The new rule is FDA’s effort of curbing obesity, and apparently it’s paying off. In a study conducted in King County, WA, researchers surveyed 3,000 participants from 2008 to 2010 when a similar law was implemented locally.

Researchers found that:

  • the percentage of participants who read the calorie information increased from 18.6% (08) to 59.4% (10)
  • the percentage of participants who based their meal purchased on the calorie information increased from 8.1% (08) to 24.8% (10).

Farm-to-Table Movement

The food-to-table movement is an industry trend that embraces local sustainability. According the post on Statesman, the movement not only reduces carbon foodprint and improves sustainability, but also has major benefits for the local community. “The surge of the farm-to-table movement offers many benefits to local communities. For one thing, it creates a local market for farmers and keeps money in the community. These same farmers see increased demand through direct sales to restaurants and chefs, rather than solely through farm stands or farmers markets.”

It also creates deep transparency between the restaurant and their guests. Now patrons know where the food comes from and how it’s grown. Increasing their knowledge of things like seasonality and improving healthy eating habits.

 

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