Menu Watch: The Fresh Factor

Contact Author Maria Caranfa, Mintel Menu Insights
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In the past couple of years, the restaurant menu has been a canvas for colorful dishes with sometimes unpronounceable and unimaginable ingredients, flavor combinations and preparations. While scientific food movements such as molecular gastronomy are still popular, the newest menus are using and marketing “fresh” in both food and beverage.


The popularity of the term fresh on the menu is apparent. According to Mintel Menu Insights, there has been a 21% increase in ingredients that claimed to be “fresh” between January 2006 and March 2008 (F-1). Restaurants are adding or switching to fresh ingredients every day. Additionally, restaurant marketing campaigns are differentiating restaurants based on freshness. Fresh will continue to be a strong influence on the menu in upcoming years.

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The fresh claim is typically associated with produce on the menu, because it carries the positive connotation of being nutritious and flavorful. There has been a 51% increase in fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs on the menu (January 2006–March 2008).

Other topics discussed: Factors Influencing Fresh: Organic, Natural and Local

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