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EXPLODING DEMAND

We’ve learned there is exploding demand for healthy meals served on the go. Consumers are increasingly willing to pay for a meal they feel good about, which is evident with global health and wellness sales on the way to hit a record high of $1 trillion by 2017.

“Fast Casual” is changing the way we eat. Fast casual restaurants straddle the line between traditional, counter-service fast food and casual dining establishments with table service. They have many elements that make fast food appealing, such as immediate service, take-out or eat-in options and low prices, but fast casual restaurants have features that set them apart. The key trend at fast casual restaurants is transparency in ingredients, a desire to be more socially responsible and a commitment to source local food whenever possible. The fast casual industry has enjoyed explosive growth over the past several years, projected to reach $52 billion in 2017, according to Technnomic.

Healthy fast casual is a segment that accounts for over $384 million in sales, and there is growing interest in trendy health-based diets, from veganism to the Paleo diet. “Younger consumers eat out a lot, and they don’t want to feel bad about their choices every day,” said Kelly Weikel, senior consumer research manager at Technomic Inc., a food industry consulting firm. “Eating healthy is also appealing for boomers. When they eat out, they go for a little bit healthier because they are trying to preserve their vitality.” Rush Bowls sits neatly in this segment, and offers you the opportunity to enter this market with an appealing brand identity and a delicious product.

"Healthy fast-casuals show broad appeal and are in a position to expand. Young, female, urban and upscale consumers are the biggest market for health-focused concepts, so locations that target these segments will continue to see growth.”

"Younger consumers eat out a lot, and they don't want to feel bad about their choices every day. Eating healthy is also appealing for boomers. When they eat out, they go for a little bit healthier because they are trying to preserve their vitality."

INDUSTRY STATISTICS

Gallup research has found 8 in 10 Americans eat at a fast food restaurant at least monthly, and 57 percent of young adults report eating it at least weekly.

Nearly 70 percent of restaurants now offer a low-fat or “healthy” menu, according to Fast Casual’s State of the Industry 2015 Report.

88 percent of consumers say they’re willing to pay a premium for foods with healthy attributes, according to Nielsen’s online poll of 30,000 people in 60 countries.

The National Restaurant Association reports 76 percent of adults will return to a restaurant that offers healthier options.

58% of diners care less about price and deals and more about the quality and freshness of their meal according to NPD Group.

84% of restaurant operators say their customers are paying more attention to nutrition when they order.

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