Diets As A Belief Structure May Be Causing Consumers to Eat Out Less

It didn't seem long ago when losing inches off the waist was pretty much the sole goal of the dieting masses. Today? Well, "diet" is going deity; each "diet's" dogma filling people's stomachs with a sense of purpose and for some even hope. People with epilepsy and diabetes are told the Ketogenic diet has massive and sustainable health benefits. It is reported that staying true to the Mediterranean diet will help you live longer and have fewer health issues on average. For us, restaurant people... let's not forget the biblical flood of people that changed the foodservice landscape forever with gluten-free needs. And, of course, there is the vegan diet, which is the best example of the "diet" becoming more about "this is what I stand for and believe" and less about the waistline.  In short, the consumer of today is less likely to frequent restaurants that don't consider their "diet" and restaurants the flock is growing. 

Top Diets By Social Mentions

Foodable Labs recorded over 34 million conversations around diets.  Mediterranean, Paleo, Vegan, Ketogenic, Flexitarian, Dash Diet, and TLC were the top diets by social mentions over the last 12 months.

Foodable Labs found that the subset of Americans, between the ages of 18 and 34, who showed consistency in dining out occasions, mentioning the Mediterranean Diet, dined out 31 percent less in the past six months versus the previous six months.

Restaurant Categories Affected by Americans (18 to 34-years-old) Showing Consistency In Their Dining Out Occasions & Mentioning the Mediterranean Diet


The Mediterranean Diet is basically high in vegetables and fats (like olive oil) with a moderate protein intake. Although, available menu options have gotten a lot more inclusive out there (in the big cities, at least), it is still not the easiest diet to follow on the go. So, maybe the decrease is because there are still not enough food options that support this “diet.”

Diet Demographics

Restaurateurs may think that these "diets" are limiting, and maybe that’s why they don't offer more options? But, these are actually opportunities to connect with your customer on a deeper level and, if you do the research, you may be surprised that you can cater to the "converted” with items already in your kitchen. This does not mean put more salads on the menu. An entrees and a few appetizers that are vegan and gluten free would go far.  Consider this, of the Top 10 emerging brands on Foodable’s Emerging Brand Report, eight have a significant dedication to alternative dietary doctrines. So restaurants, no matter what loyal disciples you're targeting, you should probably take people's “diets” into account— you will separate yourself from the pack. 

For more data on the subject reach out to Foodable Labs!