Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine,” and these days, consumers are putting this mantra into practice.
Today’s savvy customers are more informed than ever about the products and services they consume, and for many people, food tops the list of concerns. After all, food isn’t a luxury item or an occasional purchase—it’s something we all must have in order to survive. As healthcare costs soar and diseases like heart disease and diabetes become more common, consumers are actively exerting more control when it comes to their food choices. In recent years, interest in gluten-free and non-GMO foods and an increased awareness around food allergens has prompted restaurants to up the ante when it comes to menu transparency.
A recent Perdue proprietary study showed 94 percent of consumers want restaurants to be more transparent about the food on their menus. 1 Answering this call is a wise move on the part of operators for several reasons. Offering “clean” ingredients such as organic and humanely raised protein options shows consumers their concerns are important to operators and that their needs are being met.
Menu transparency can also differentiate a brand. Diners are increasingly looking for gluten-free, organic, paleo, keto and non-GMO options when eating out, so when these choices are readily available and identifiable, restaurants that offer them are top of mind when it’s time to dine. That’s why it’s important to offer your customers a wide range of protein options to meet the demands of their health-conscious diners. PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® No Antibiotics Ever Chicken and Turkey can be a healthy focus of many of today’s most popular nutrition regimens.
When it comes to menu transparency, it’s also a matter of safety. New research suggests at least one in 10 U.S. adults has a food allergy.2 Therefore, it’s never been more important to clearly communicate what menu items contain common allergens such as milk, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans.3 In addition to menu transparency, training staff to ask diners about allergens is a must. Operators should also think about allergens when sourcing ingredients to avoid potential cross-contamination. Proper preparation and precautions around food allergens is essential for foodservice operators.
Animal welfare has also gained greater importance among consumers. In addition to wanting meat from humanely-raised animals, consumers are aware of the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, which the Centers for Disease Control deem an urgent health problem. 4 In response, Perdue introduced its revolutionary Commitments to Animal Care program in 2016 in collaboration with animal welfare groups Compassion in World Farming and the Humane Society of the United States. This changed the game in large-scale poultry production. In 2018, Perdue further strengthened its pledge to more compassionate farming practices by committing to adding windows to 100 percent of chicken houses, moving to higher-welfare, controlled atmosphere stunning, and publishing audit results, among other improvements.
Menuing products like organic chicken and turkey with no antibiotics ever is an opportunity to increase profits in tandem with customer satisfaction. Just as diners expect to pay more for grass-fed beef or sustainably caught seafood, high-quality chicken demands a premium price as well. In fact, 80% of consumers would pay more for chicken that is certified USDA organic.1 Research also shows that more than 70% of operators say that featuring organic chicken on their menu improves the perception of their restaurant.1 It’s a win-win opportunity.
Help your customers grow their business with improved menu transparency and better-for-you ingredients like PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® No Antibiotics Ever Chicken and Turkey and USDA Certified Organic Chicken. There’s never been a better time for your customers to demonstrate their commitment to quality.
1 Perdue, Proprietary internal consumer study, June 2017
2 Gupta RS, Warren CM, Smith BM, et al. “Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies Among US Adults,” JAMA Network Open, Jan. 4, 2019
3 USDA, Food Allergies: What you Need to Know
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Antibiotic Resistance