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NRA finds organics hot in family dining

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.

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