For years Fish n Chips has been a trusted staple on British pub-grub menus – but now it has been overtaken by salads, a report has found.
HEALTHY food dishes are fighting ‘dude food’ such as fish n chips, burgers, burritos and barbecue foods for menu space as consumers’ appetite for dishes made with nutritious ingredients continues to grow, according to market insight company Horizons.
According to its latest Menu Trends survey, which tracks changes on 800 high street menus, trends in foods and ingredients are being translated into dishes on high street menus quicker than ever, as operators acknowledge the importance of keeping up with fast-moving food fashions, many of which are currently for healthier options and novel ingredients.
Main-course salads, such as goats’ cheese, tuna, and grilled chicken, are now the fourth most popular dish featured on British menus, despite not featuring in the top 20 last year.
The use of pulses and fruit has also seen a rapid year-on-year increase, with the term ‘super food’ being used 75% more often than it was this time last year.
Vegan dishes are also on the up, with 21% of the eating out brands surveyed now offering a vegan option.
Gluten-free terminology is also more common, having risen 89% over the past two years and wheat-free options are up 80% on menus since last year.
Peter Backman, managing director of Horizons, said: “Customers are now much more willing to try new foods, particularly those with perceived health benefits. Social media has also prompted the sharing of recipes and food ideas, while the popular lifestyle and fitness bloggers have made an impact on what we eat at home, and therefore what we expect to see on eating out menus.
“The trend for healthy and lifestyle eating is becoming more popular and high street menus have now reflected this. Operators now have to make a difficult decision about what to keep on their menus. It’s important they stay in touch with what’s hot and what’s not.”
A recent report by consumer analyst, Nielsen, showed nearly two thirds (65%) of Brits say they are cutting down on fats, while 62% are eating less chocolate and sugary sweets.
However, while beef burgers, pizzas and chicken burgers remain the top three most frequently listed menu items, beef burgers have seen a 7% decrease in menu appearances since last summer and hot dogs have now been knocked off the top 20 list in favour of burritos (up 56% since summer 2014).
Fish & chips have also shown a slow decline in menu appearances over the past two years, with a drop of 26% since 2014.