NEW YORK -- Healthy eating is the most pressing concern of restaurant patrons today, and diners may also be using health to influence their purchases in the supermarket, said a FoodTrends survey of approximately 500 restaurateurs and food-service professionals.
"The overwhelming concern in the nutrition field among restaurant patrons is in the fat area. It ranked in greater importance than cholesterol, caffeine, calories and sodium," said a spokeswoman for Thomas Food Industry Register here.
The second annual FoodTrends survey was a joint effort between Thomas Food Industry Register and Find/SVP, a consulting and research firm here.
The survey revealed that people are no longer dining out just for special occasions, something that could be cutting into supermarket sales, the Thomas Register spokeswoman said.
The health craze is still going full throttle, with 80% of food-service operators reporting their customers are more concerned with nutrition, and 76% reporting they would like to see more healthy items on the menu. Another 49% reported their patrons are requesting more light and low-fat desserts.