Here we look at the fastest-growing healthy claims on Canadian menus over the latest three-year period. As consumers increase consumption of healthy fare and evolve their definitions of health to become more holistic, operators are offering higher quality meats and more nonanimal alternatives.
Grass-fed and antibiotic-free claims grew by 40.9% and 9.1%, respectively. Most mentions of grass-fed meats are centred around beef, including bone-in rib-eye steaks, strip loins and burger patties. Concepts are highlighting antibiotic-free claims in beef, but also in chicken handhelds, including wings and bites, and pork-based breakfast selections, such as centre-of-the-plate bacon and sausages.
Not only do 68% and 62% of consumers express that they associate grass-fed and antibiotic-free callouts as healthful, respectively, but more than a quarter would also be willing to pay more for these claims. Some 26% and 29% of respondents agree that they are willing to pay more for grass-fed and antibiotic-free meats, respectively, meaning the extra cost of these products may be worth it to operators.
Nonanimal callouts of nondairy and vegan rose 40.0% and 21.9%, respectively. Younger consumers (ages 18 to 34) are mostly driving demand of nondairy options, with 27% reporting they would like more restaurants to provide dairy alternatives, compared to just 15% of their older counterparts. Concepts are responding by adding nondairy yogurt and milk in smoothies and offering nondairy sorbets. With over half (53%) of consumers associating vegan fare as slightly or much more healthy, operators should not only continue to unveil meat substitutes such as tofu across all dayparts and mealparts, but also spotlight vegan fare on menus with designated symbols to further entice health-minded consumers.