February 27, 2014 |

Throwback Thursday: Heart Healthy in March 1991

By Mandy Wolf Detwiler

mar91In March 1991, we took a hard look at how Americans were fighting the “Battle of the Bulge” –– and how pizza fit into that equation.

Today, our industry is still competing to be considered a healthy menu option, but that’s easier than ever thanks in part to the rise of pizza toppings that are better for diners but still flavorful. While full-fat toppings like pepperoni and sausage are still king, we’re seeing artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, broccoli rabe and even carrots and ginger gracing many menus across the country. Some concepts have even banked on the freshness, such as our 2012 Independent of the Year, Fresh Brothers, a California-based chain that literally puts the word in its title –– and stands behind it.

Americans’ focus on health has become so prevalent that the government has pushed to require restaurants to put fat and caloric content on their menus –– right next to the very dishes that are their bread and butter, so to speak. The National Restaurant Association says it wants flexibility for small businesses who may not have the cash flow to have their menus dissected for fat and caloric content. (Check out their coverage here.) While some Americans simply don’t care, I can attest to the fact that having those numbers next to my favorite sausage, egg and cheese biscuit breakfast has caused me to change my order on more than one occasion.

Health is as much an issue today as it was in 1991? Are you concerned with our industry’s image? Have you already taken steps to implement menu labeling?