Restaurants love to call attention to the yummy factor of menu items, not the healthful stuff. Cheesy goodness goes a long way. Hence the reason our country is growing larger by the meal.
Kim Williams, writing for Fastcasual.com, reports fast casual chains are taking part in a new dietitian-hiring trend intended to address the national menu labeling law, the rising consumer demand for healthful menu options and the obesity epidemic.
“Obesity is the backbone of the whole thing,” said Suzy Badaracco, RD, chef, toxicologist and founder and president of Culinary Tides. “It’s leading the push to have dietitians on staff. How consumers are interacting with menu labels and food research is being shoved into the public eye.”
In order for restaurant chains to survive the USDA’s dietary guidelines–which focus on controlling calories, salt, sugar and solid fat consumption, while increasing whole grains, seafood and fruits and vegetables–menu development needs to be tweaked with food research and nutrition information for consumers.
Registered dietitians will play an increasing role in this development as fast casual restaurants look to hire RD rock stars to stay ahead of the game!
At Culturewaves® we like to call this Flexible Flux.™ It’s about rationalizing decisions, and justified counterbalance: “I want some good stuff even in my bad stuff.”™ Then again, maybe it’s about Brand Sanctuary™ brand integrity, a feeling that says “I count on your brand not to let me down.”™
Overall, Badaracco sees a bright future for fast casual restaurants and RDs, especially if they can become part of a brand’s identity. “What if dietitians became the next rock star chefs? Why not put the dietitians on the commercials? They have the training and the expertise. It would do a lot to gain the consumers’ trust, and fast casuals are the only segment best aligned to showcase dietitians right now.”
For more insights and innovations check out CultureWaves®, the place to go for the latest observations in the World Thought Bank – events, ideas, trends and more. Add your own thoughts about anything in life – entertainment, design, technology, well-being and, yes, food. And, take a look at a few of our other Hot & Cool Trends.