Healthy Appetites Are Part of Dining Out

Our recent All About Dining Out report showed indulgence is a major reason why consumers opt to dine out, but those indulgent occasions aren’t the only reason consumers are keeping their kitchens dark.  Just like when they’re cooking for themselves, health is still a major factor in our daily meal decisions.


Healthy options remain important for consumers across all dayparts. In fact, roughly six in 10 diners having “eating healthy” occasions said they want a food that is “reasonably healthy,” and roughly four in 10 want a food that fits their diet when dining out.

Still, consumer knowledge of diet-specific meals has yet to reach ubiquity. They may follow Whole 30, Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean and protein-rich diets, but that doesn’t mean they can easily identify which dishes fit into those diets when looking at a menu.


For pork, it means boosting awareness of how healthful and flavorful it is by including it in more diet-specific meals. When people dine out together, seeing healthy options on a menu can help protect against a “veto vote” among diners who value health over indulgence. Pork can be among those healthy options.


To begin, operators should be looking for ways to clearly identify how menu items can fit into specific diet considerations. Simple call-outs of “Paleo” or “low-carb/no-carb option” can go a long way to help consumers make informed decisions when health is top of mind.


These dishes, along with new creations, can also be promoted through LTOs. The high protein, low fat and versatility of some pork cuts, such as tenderloin and chops, allow them to fit quite nicely into many current diets, and restaurants can benefit from marketing new tastes and flavors that fulfill diet-specific needs.


So which diets are on top of consumers’ minds today? Here’s a breakdown of what each eating plan entails and how pork can be added:

With health’s importance in the dining out landscape, there’s a real opportunity for pork to change its negative perceptions and become more prevalent on menus. However, it’s on us to seize that opportunity.


Since we’re talking about how to appeal to those diners looking for options that fit into their diets, it’s a good time to make sure:

  • your website is as up-to-date as the menus at the host station
  • the digital menu is easily discoverable and readable on mobile devices
  • you’ve considered options for social sharing and reviews


To learn more about health’s presence in away from home dining, and to read the full report, download All About Dining Out here.

Angie Krieger

Angie Krieger

Assistant Vice President, Channel Outreach

National Pork Board Cell: 319-594-4000