Once considered a specific culinary style found only in select restaurants, Mediterranean cuisine with Greek, Spanish and Middle Eastern roots is showing up on the menus of national chain eateries. There is a growing consumer interest in Mediterranean cuisine specifically, as Americans become more health- conscious and seek simpler and fresher alternatives that spare the fat.
- 6 in 10 consumers indicate they would likely order a menu item featuring flavors and ingredients associated with Mediterranean cuisine
- At a 1.7% increase from 2009, sales at Mediterranean chains (Greek, Spanish, and Middle Eastern) grew to $362 million in 2010
- Operators are featuring more falafel, hummus, chickpeas and Greek yogurt in dishes. In addition, pita sandwiches and Greek entrée salads have become more prevalent on menus