Menu Planning

New Year’s Resolution: Satisfy Your Health-Conscious Customers in 2024

Jan 08, 2024

New Year’s Resolution: Satisfy Your Health-Conscious Customers in 2024

As the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2023, countless individuals resolved to make healthier eating choices in the new year.

• 43% of consumers said their New Year’s resolution this year is to improve their physical health1
• 42% said they want to eat healthier1
• 35% want to lose weight1

Just put yourself in their shoes for a moment. They’ve just spent six weeks splurging on gifts and overindulging on food and drink. By January, they’re looking to mend their ways. This usually means eating more vegetables, less red meat and less alcohol.

Still, this audience can be a lifesaver for restaurants in Q1, a quarter known for disappointing traffic. How can you draw your share of this important audience?

What restaurant customers are looking for after New Year’s

The post-New Year’s health kick is well known to the foodservice industry. Studies of menus show that restaurants tend to emphasize “healthy” terms in menu descriptions at this time of year.

Here are the top seven terms they use to signal healthy menu choices to health-conscious customers in the winter months:1

• Low carb
• Wild caught
• Calorie
• Non-GMO
• Well-balanced
• Gluten-free
• Whole grain

If your menu doesn’t include many of these terms today, fear not.

Roasted vegetables are a simple way to add a healthy halo in 2024

You don’t have to rewrite your whole menu to offer healthier options in the new year. With a few strategic additions and substitutions, you can make your “resolution” customers feel accommodated and satisfied. For example, start by substituting steamed vegetables with roasted vegetables. Here’s why:

Diet-friendly: Roasted vegetables are approved foods in all manner of lifestyle diets. They tick all the healthy boxes—low carb, gluten-free, high fiber, low calorie, etc.—so you know they’ll have broad appeal.

Rich flavor and color: Roasting vegetables at high heat brings out their natural sweetness and intensifies their flavors. This caramelization process, where natural sugars brown and develop a complex taste profile, adds a depth of flavor that boiling or steaming cannot match.

Versatility: Roasted vegetables are a staple in various culinary traditions and can be adapted to suit a wide array of dishes. They can be the star of a meal, like in a roasted vegetable medley, or served as a complementary side to meats and grains. Their robust flavors and textures make them ideal for salads, soups, sandwiches, pastas, and even as toppings for pizzas.

Tip: Use Simplot RoastWorks® frozen roasted vegetables to save time and maintain quality

In commercial kitchens, the time and oven space required to roast large amounts of vegetables is often prohibitive. But, with Simplot RoastWorks® Roasted Vegetables and Fruit, you can save hours of labor while delivering consistent roasted veggies year-round.

Speed-scratch fast: All the washing, slicing and dicing is already done—just heat and serve. In addition, many RoastWorks® products are designated Ready-to-Eat (RTE). This eliminates the time-consuming process of cooking and chilling vegetables for cold applications like salads, salsas and meal kits.

Consistent quality: Roasting can be tricky, especially for less skilled staff. RoastWorks® eliminates costly mistakes, so you get the consistent color and flavor you need no matter who’s cooking.

Zero waste: All RoastWorks® products offer 100% yield. Why pay for stems, shucks and peels you can’t sell?

No wonder more chefs serve RoastWorks® than any other brand of roasted vegetables and fruit in foodservice.

Just add avocado, the superfood that’s super popular

For customers on restrictive diets, avocados are one of the few foods that offer indulgent richness without any downsides. That’s because avocados are stuffed with healthy fats that create a wonderfully buttery flavor and texture. Here are some more reasons to add avocado to your menu in January:

A popular addition: Avocado consumption continues to grow in the U.S., so you never have to wonder if customers will like it.

Superfood nutrition: Avocado is well known for its impressive nutritional profile. This fruit is unique among its peers due to its high content of healthy fats and a wide array of vitamins and minerals.

Versatility: Avocado’s creamy, buttery texture makes it an excellent addition to both savory and sweet dishes. From burger and sandwich toppings to salads, dips, soups, desserts and smoothies—it’s easy to find places for avocado all across the menu.

Fatter margins: America's love affair with avocado translates into a willingness to pay more for items that have it. For example, limited-time offers with avocado fetch 14% more than those without. Sides and appetizers command a whopping 37% more when they include avocado.2

Tip: Use frozen avocado to make avocado profitable on your menu

While customers love avocado, many restaurants find it challenging to serve profitably. The price, quality and ripeness of whole avocados can vary significantly over the year. Moreover, about half the yield of a 25 lb. lug may be lost to pitting, peeling, trimming and spoilage, effectively doubling the price you paid for it.

Simplot Harvest Fresh® Avocados frozen products, on the other hand, offer you more ways to make money with avocado. Our broad line of guacamole, pulp, halves and dices lets you add avocado’s pricing power to the widest array of menu items. And that’s not all:

Consistent quality: Harvest Fresh® products are made exclusively from 100% Mexican Hass avocado, the world’s finest.

Always ripe, always ready: Each Harvest Fresh® avocado is picked and prepared at the peak of ripeness. No more over-ripe or under-ripe fruit.

Less labor: We do all the pitting and peeling for you, eliminating hours of expensive labor.

Zero waste: All Harvest Fresh® products offer 100% yield, so you never have to pay for pits or peels.

Of course, fresh avocado will always have its place in the kitchen. But for countless applications, fresh avocado is unnecessary. Identify menu items—sandwich toppers, dressings, bowls, spreads, guacamole, etc.—that simply don’t require fresh avocado and substitute with frozen. Frozen avocado makes a lot more sense in these applications, where it’s used as an ingredient and the benefit of using fresh is negligible.

Healthy doesn’t have to be hard

When it comes to offering healthier options, the little things make a big difference. Roasted vegetables and Hass avocado are certifiably healthy foods that add pricing power and healthy appeal to items all over your menu. This year, see how “better for you” can help you build a better bottom line.

1 Datassential, 2023
2 Datassential, MenuTrends, 2023