Consumer awareness of the benefits of a balanced diet is forcing fast food chains to offer a larger range of healthier options.
A July 21 report by Mintel Menu Insights, part of consumer research group Mintel, found that fast food chains are offering a better variety of ‘healthy' menus in response to consumer demand.
The report found that between the second quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010, menu items labeled as healthy grew by 65 percent, and the number of menu items containing fruits or vegetables increased by 10 percent between 2007 and 2010. Also the number of items offered which were labeled as vegetarian grew by 21 percent during the same 2007-2010 period.
The report indicates that the increase in allegedly healthy items is due to a rising consumer demand, increased awareness over the benefits of healthy eating and a growing concern over levels of childhood obesity.
Using nutritional information provided by international fast food chains Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonalds, Burger King and Subway regarding menu items which are internationally available, the options at each restaurant which contain the least possible amount of calories are:
Veggie Delight Salad 50 calories
Grilled Chicken whole wing (per 37 gram serving) 80 calories
KFC Snacker, Honey and BBQ sandwich 210 calories per 98 gram serving.
Premium Cesar salad (without Chicken) 90 calories (USA)
Grilled Chicken salad (no bacon) 115 calories (Europe)
Garden Salad 137 calories
12" ‘Fit ‘N Delicious,' green pepper, red onion, and diced red tomato pizza, 150 calories per slice (1 slice = 1/8 pizza) 1200 calories per pizza.