The study, “The Lettuce Revolution,” indicates foodservice operators are moving away from romaine lettuce and are experimenting with a wider selection of salad greens.
Some 83% of restaurant consumers said the type of greens used is an important factor in their decision to order a salad at a restaurant. Among their preferences:
- Consumers want a crunchier texture in their salad greens;
- Consumers prefer a blend of colors, but preferences skew towards darker green salad varieties. Six in 10 consumers say a darker color is more appealing;
- Two-thirds, 66%, say they perceive salad greens with a darker color as more upscale or premium;
- In the study group, 43% say they are willing to pay more for darker salad greens;
- Study participants prefer salad greens with a slightly sweet but mild flavor profile; and
- More consumers — 27% — prefer curly leaves to flat leaves — 17%. Seventy percent agreed that curly, robust leafy salad greens enhance visual appeal.