Requests for organic items increased more sharply within family restaurants between 2002 and 2004 than orders for any other menu item except chicken, according to a National Restaurant Association survey. Forty-six percent of the canvassed family restaurants said they fielded more orders for organics than they had in '02. Similarly, 42% reported selling more local foods and produce, and 41% said the same of vegetarian meals.
The biggest gainer in popularity within family restaurants, according to the NRA, was chicken. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they peddled more poultry in '04 than they did in '02.
Organics were even more widely embraced within fine-dining establishments, with 48% reporting an increase in orders over the two-year span. Only 38% of casual-dining places cited an increase in organic orders, or the same proportion that mentioned a rise in soup sales.
The survey was the basis for an industry snapshot incorporated into the NRA's 2005 sales forecast.