New figures, included in the Menu & Food Trends 2015 report, show traditional fast food brands lead the way, providing full calorie information, whilst new fast food brands target healthier eating by offering low carb or low fat options.
Wetherspoon’s stands out with strong healthy eating credentials, offering full calorie information and topping the list with the most vegetarian dishes.
The research also shows the average product count for the 36 brands surveyed has grown by 5% to 66 items in 2015, driven by mains and sharers. Furthermore, 25 of the 36 brands analysed have increased total product counts year-on-year.
Eight of the 12 market segments increased mains product counts, led by Mexican restaurants which increased their mains offers by 16% to 49 items.
Overall, chicken remains the most popular protein group, although its prominence in fast food and pub slipped slightly, with beef taking some of chicken’s share at pubs.
The analysis showed vegetarian dishes increasing in popularity, with the strongest growth being seen in pub restaurants, where they accounted for 19% of mains. Global/fusion brands have the strongest vegetarian offer, followed by All-day dining. However, traditional fast food brands significantly under-index and should better cater to vegetarian diners.
Free-from foods, in particular gluten-free, have become increasingly prevalent, with a third of brands now providing separate gluten-free menus.
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