More veg on the menu for high street chains

The trend for healthier eating is spurring a trend for more salads and vegetarian dishes on high street menus.

The use of pulses and fruit has seen one of the largest year-on-year increases in dishes, according to the latest Menu Trends survey from Horizons, which tracks changes on 800 high street menus.

Vegetarian dishes now have twice the share they had in 2010, while vegan dishes and salads are also on the up.

Dishes losing popularity include beef burgers which, although they remain the most popular menu item, have seen a 7% decrease in menu appearances since last summer.

Although healthy choices are in favour in foodservice, the news is not so positive in retail where a separate study has shown retailers are still promoting unhealthy options over more nutritious alternatives.

The research by Which? in Scotland found that over half (53%) of 77,165 promotions surveyed were on less healthy foods compared to healthier products (47%).

Which? also found that three in ten Scots (28%) find it difficult to eat healthily as they think healthier food is more expensive than less healthy food, while more than half (53%) said that supermarkets should include more healthier choices in promotions to make it easier for people to choose healthier food.

“It’s time for all retailers to take more responsibility for the types of food they include in their price promotions as well as to live up to their promises to take sweets off the checkout," said Alex Neill, Which? director of campaigns and policy.

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