NRA's Take on Trends Among Operators and Consumers

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) recently served up some valuable information on trends among operators and consumers. As for operators, an NRA survey found that 96 percent of restaurant owners said they would use frozen food for their table service operations, while 100 percent would use frozen for their quick service operations. Some 76 percent of restaurant owners surveyed concurred that in the next decade, frozen food technology will advance to such a degree that it will be difficult to distinguish between frozen and non-frozen food after preparation.

On the consumer side of the equation, the NRA's 2005 Restaurant Industry Forecast pointed to entrée salads as registering the largest increase of all menu items at both full-service and quick-service restaurants. “We’re seeing increasing consumer interest in healthful options, and restaurants report increased sales of entrée salads, bottled water, vegetable and fruit side dishes, poultry and healthier options for kids,” says President and CEO Steven C. Anderson. Restaurant operators noticed significantly increased demand for carb-controlled items during 2004.

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