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Survey Reveals Popularity of Ethnic Salads

31 March 2012

food3_april12Mediterranean salads top the list when casual diners seek change.

A Mediterranean-style salad holds the most appeal as a new flavor for diners at casual-dining restaurants, according to a Culinary Visions™ Panel study conducted by Chicago-based Olson Communications.

“When restaurants want to add new salads they should look to the Mediterranean for inspiration,” said Sharon Olson, president of Olson Communications. “We discovered a full 60% of customers are highly likely to choose that type of salad when they have ethnic salad choices that also include Latin and Asian.”

The Latin salad was the next most likely to be ordered, with 52% of respondents choosing it. The Asian salad attracted 44% of the respondents. There were also some gender-specific side discoveries revealed in the responses.

Of all three ethnic choices in salads, 50% of men were likely to choose the Mediterranean salad and 45% of women were likely to choose it. Overall, 71% of women will order a salad, while only 54% of men will. About 44% of both men and women said they’d order a Latin salad. For the Asian salad, almost 40% of men said they’d order it, compared to 30% of women, and it was least likely to be ordered of all the ethnic salad concepts.

In the study, Culinary Visions Panel asked the likelihood that respondents would order menu concepts from categories that included burgers, salads, side dishes, pizzas and ice cream. Not surprisingly, men are more likely to order burgers and women are more likely to order salads when ordering at their favorite casual-dining restaurants. Salads had the widest gap between men and women across the entire survey.

Culinary Visions Panel explores a wide range of culinary topics with food-industry professionals and consumers. Consumers surveyed were those who frequented casual restaurants, and comparisons were made between male and female consumers. A closer look was taken at self-described foodies with more-adventurous menu preferences.