Keto Exploration and Eating Out Implications in the QSR Industry

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Our Thoughts
  • by Rachel Brennan

Consumers are increasingly becoming more restrictive when it comes to their food selections and dietary restrictions. Whether it’s due to chronic diseases such as celiac, ongoing food allergies, or they’re simply looking for a healthier meal plan, consumers are seeking more customization in their meal selections. Keto, paleo, gluten-free, and Whole-30, are just a handful of the growing diets and lifestyle changes consumers are adapting as part of their eating habits.

The following #NoFilter hones in on how consumers are talking about one of the most popular diets in 2018/2019, the “keto” or ketogenic diet. The keto diet is high-fat, low-carb approach for losing weight.

This report provides examples and key findings that can be leveraged for the fast food and fast casual industry.

Men and women are already talking online about one of the newest diets – the keto or ketogenic diet. Their unsolicited comments provide unique access to what they are thinking and feeling. Our Digital Research Consultants use their expertise to read and hand-code commentary from blogs, photos, and online social channels to uncover the underlying motivations, the potential change in habits and behaviors of consumers, and search for overarching themes and new opportunities that are relevant to you and your objectives.

You can view the full case study here:

Keto Exploration and Eating Out Implications in the QSR Industry

For this report, we set out to...

  • Understand how consumers are talking about the keto diet as it relates to eating out and eating on the go
  • Learn about challenges to eating keto in fast food and fast casual restaurants
  • Explore trade-offs or substitutions made in order to eat keto friendly
  • Explore how fast food and fast casual restaurants are promoting keto friendly menu options and how consumers are responding
  • Understand which fast food and fast casual menu choices consumers are opting for in lieu of high carb choices

Key Findings:

  1. Stigmas surround "dirty keto" or fast food keto give the diet a bad reputation
  2. Fast food and fast casual dining offer tempting choices that make sticking to keto a challenge
  3. Eating out is unavoidable for most consumers and there's a real cry for healthier choices
  4. Special order requests can get complex and cause confusion for employees, leading to customer dissatisfaction
  5. Customers are leveraging apps and menu builders to customize their meal in advance and avoid holding up the line