Red Brick Pizza, Noodles and Company, Freshii and Tropical Smoothie Café are just a few of the chains that are collaborating with registered dietitians (RDs) for menu development, food research and nutrition information for customers. Obesity is the backbone of the entire movement. Consumers are taking notice of menu labels and RDs provide a reliable, credible source of information.
According to the National Restaurant Association's "What's Hot" survey nutrition and health, children's nutrition, half and smaller portions, fresh produce, gluten-free options and a back-to-basics approach are in the top 20 trends for 2011.
There is a customer service element to it too. Have a question about nutrition and that smoothie you want to drink? Ask n Darcie Ellyne. She is the new RD for Tropical Smoothie. She will answer questions via social media tools and provide sound, evidenced-based nutrition information and lifestyle guidelines for all who seek to improve their lives.
The real question is…can the RD become part of a brand’s identity? What if dietitians became the next rock star chefs?
They have the training and expertise to build consumers’ trust. RDs have the opportunity to be almost as effective as the white check on the cereal box.