Consumers are increasingly taking on a more personalized, holistic view of health, and making food and beverage choices based on their personal definition of health, such as food described as natural, organic, high in protein or functional, according to a study released by Technomic, Chicago.

The research report, “2018 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report,” shows that despite abiding by these health definitions, consumers may still reconsider their restaurant orders if they think an item has too many calories.

"The foodservice landscape will become more competitive when it comes to tastier, more innovative healthy menu offerings," says Maia Chang, senior research analyst. "This means that more brands will face additional pressure to differentiate through transparency and preparation techniques, as well as brand and sourcing stories."

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • 40% of consumers say their definition of health has changed over the past two years.
  • 66% look for calorie counts on restaurant menus at least some of the time.
  • 34% say they'd be likely to order dishes made with vegetables, such as cauliflower pizza crust and zucchini noodles, instead of carb-rich items.

This report compiled findings from more than 1,500 consumer responses.