A new study by foodservice consultant Technomic and kid-focused brand marketing agency C3 has found that nearly nine out of 10 kids surveyed say that fresh vegetables and fresh whole fruits are healthy. Other foods named healthy by kids included salad (78 percent), steamed vegetables (76 percent) and eggs (72 percent). At least half said that fish, cheese, chicken and peanut butter are healthy as well.
The report was developed using data gathered in a May 2009 survey of 1,500 moms and 1,200 kids ages 6 to 12.
According to survey results, fast casual and family-style restaurants overall were perceived by moms to be less kid-friendly than quick-service restaurants. In the quick-service segment, Chick-fil-A and McDonald's rated excellent along most kid-related attributes. Fuddrucker's was the only fast casual brand to be considered kid-friendly by about half of moms (48 percent). Applebee's was recognized as the most kid-friendly restaurant in the family style format.
Salads also are among the leading entrÃ©e items on kids' menus at the Top 250 full-service restaurants. And aside from the growth of healthy side-item options, much of the development around healthier fare is in kids' beverage selections and in increasing the number of items described as organic or natural.
For moms, the key elements in the brand decision across all restaurant segments were consistent food quality, restaurant cleanliness, value and consistently good service.
The report includes an analysis of kids' menus for the Top 250 Chain and Emerging Chain restaurants, derived from Technomic's proprietary MenuMonitor database and primary and secondary industry data. The report also examines kids' marketing programs and looks at current and upcoming trends in kids' dining.