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January 30, 2014
Restaurant SmartBrief Special Report
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deli meat sandwich with turkey
(Image credit: Newscred/rez-art)
Talking turkey: Focus on healthy dining, Part 1
Making healthier food choices is among the most popular resolutions that people make at the beginning of each year, and restaurants often roll out new menu items and promotions to help diners stay on the right track. Health/nutrition and healthy kids' menus both appeared in the NRA's culinary forecast of what's hot for 2014, and chefs and restaurateurs are looking for ways boost the nutrition of their offerings.

Lean protein is a perfect foundation for a healthy dish, and restaurants are taking turkey well beyond the holiday table and incorporating it into light, healthy dishes for all dayparts.

In Part 1 of this Talking Turkey special report series, we'll take a look at some of the ways restaurants are offering more healthy options. Look for Part 2 in your inbox on Thursday, and keep an eye out for other installments in the series. Spread the word and share this e-mail with your friends and colleagues. They can sign up to receive NRA Restaurant SmartBrief in their inbox every day, for free. Join the conversation about healthy eating on Twitter and check out SmartBlog on Food & Beverage for more coverage of food trends!

Add Excitement with a Variety of Flavorful PERDUE® Turkey
PERDUE® Turkey products add versatility and a variety of flavors to any dish. Whether transforming sandwiches and salads or developing new center of the plate options, operators can easily add excitement to the menu while meeting consumer demand for healthy, flavorful options. Get recipes and learn more about PERDUE® Turkey products.
Ingredient Spotlight: Perfect for Grilling 
  • Friendly's debuts made-over menu
    Friendly's launched a revamped menu this month featuring about 36 new dishes ranging from lighter salads and wraps to new burgers, kids' dishes and ice cream treats. The new offerings include several choices with turkey, such as the turkey avocado wrap and turkey tips with broccoli and rice pilaf on the lunch and dinner menu, and a turkey sandwich with Goldfish bread on the kids menu. Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Improve Menu Nutritionals with Low Sodium PERDUE® Turkey
Meet the demand for nutritious menu offerings and menu ingredient transparency by creating healthier options like better-for-you turkey dishes. PERDUE® low-sodium turkey products easily add flavorful protein to any meal while answering the call for nutritious options. Learn how to integrate low sodium menu items without sacrificing taste.
Best Practices for Great Grilling 
  • Are consumers trading resolutions for lifestyle changes?
    Restaurants that used to tout January deals to help customers keep their New Year's resolutions are promoting year-round menus of lower-calorie and healthy options. There's evidence that the slow, steady approach from eateries and food companies is paying off. While one study shows that only 8% of people succeed with resolutions in any given year, a separate study from the USDA says Americans have been cutting back on calories and fat and eating more fiber in recent years, signaling a shift toward healthier lifestyles. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (1/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Restaurants continue to increase healthy kids' menu offerings
    Restaurants have made strides in tweaking the dishes on kids' menus to make them healthier, industry watchers say, but it's a sometimes-uphill battle as parents who voice health concerns still seek indulgent options for special occasions and eateries hesitate to invest in major changes to a menu that doesn't offer big returns. "The industry as a whole has been creating more healthful [kids' menu] options and more diversity," NRA nutrition director Joy Dubost said. Supermarket News (free registration) (1/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Side dishes get a healthy makeover
    Fast-casual and high-end restaurants are turning their attention to sides, swapping out traditional offerings like rice and fried potatoes for healthy, more creative vegetable and fruit dishes, writes Marc Halperin. Trendy grains such as quinoa and wheat berries are also high on consumers' radar. QSR Magazine (12/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotels offering healthier, more convenient options
    More hotels are adopting new menus and hours, and grab-and-go options to help them compete with surrounding eateries. "The demand for healthier options that still taste great is key. For so long, 'healthy' dining meant having a light beer or salad with tasteless dressing. We know that people want to feel good about what they eat and drink, but don't want to sacrifice flavor," said Adam Glickman of InterContinental Hotels Group. QSR Magazine (1/2014) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Raise Your Menu's Flavor with PERDUE® Lower Sodium Turkey
PERDUE delivers a variety of delicious, healthy turkey products to easily transform any dish into a robust, satisfying meal. Create a lighter classic Cuban sandwich with PERDUE® Lower Sodium Turkey Breast, dill pickle slices, honey mustard and jalapeño slice on a 6-inch baguette. Get recipe.
Your Take 
  • How are you helping diners eat healthier at your restaurant?
We are increasing our use of healthy ingredients, such as vegetables and lean protein.
We are cutting out or reducing less healthy ingredients, such as salt and saturated fat.
We are offering smaller portions.
We are using two or more of these strategies.
None of the above

  • What kind of turkey is most commonly used at your restaurant?
Turkey breast cutlets
Ground turkey
Turkey bacon
Sliced turkey


Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual NRA endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of NRA.
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