Thursday, November 25, 2010
Healthy options sought at fast-food outlets
A new survey shows a growing number of Canadians are avoiding what they perceive as unhealthy foods at fast-food restaurants.
It also suggests the trend is being led by baby boomers, women and high-income earners.
The survey, by Toronto marketing research firm NPD Group suggests as many as 20 per cent of Canadians who frequent fast-food restaurants are looking for healthier food choices.
Garth Whyte, president and CEO of the Canadian Restaurant and Food Service Association, cites his own family situation as an example of what is fuelling the trend.
Whyte says he has a family of five — and one of his kids is a vegetarian.
He says a fast food restaurant should be able to accommodate all five members of his family, and if it doesn't have vegetarian options, then they avoid that restaurant.
The survey finds while some fast-food chains have had success with healthy food options, these chains remain few and far between.
The study suggests that to make up for the lack of healthier restaurant menu choices, many consumers substitute where they can — such as replacing french fries with salad and swapping pop for other drinks.
The results come from NPD's Foodservice Megatrends 2010 report. The results are based on a representative sample of 2,355 Canadians between the ages of 18 and 64. The survey's error margin was plus or minus 2.02 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
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