Technomic Spots Growth Opportunities for Mediterranean Cuisine

CHICAGO  (  Mediterranean items are becoming more prevalent on restaurant menus across numerous segments, as operators are able to position these items by taking advantage of growing consumer interest in ethnic cuisines, better-for-you fare, and vegetarian foods.

“Mediterranean cuisine certainly seems poised for continued growth. The increase in menu incidence we have tracked at Technomic shows that these items are not just being added to Mediterranean concepts, but to the menus of national chains within virtually all segments and categories,” says Technomic Director Mary Chapman. “We expect this to continue as awareness of the cuisine increases and as the trends feeding the growth continue to develop.”

In order to help restaurant operators and suppliers understand trends and opportunities with regard to Mediterranean cuisine, Technomic has developed the Mediterranean Market Intelligence Report.

Report findings include:

  • Mediterranean food is becoming increasingly popular, with 6 in 10 consumers recently surveyed by Technomic indicating they would likely order a menu item featuring flavors and ingredients typically associated with Mediterranean cuisine.
  • Sales at Mediterranean chains—including Greek, Spanish and Middle Eastern specialists—grew to $362 million in 2010, a slight 1.7 percent increase over 2009. In the area of unit growth, leading Mediterranean chains closed out 2010 with a total of 430 units, up from 423 the prior year. Mediterranean restaurants on a chain level are not widely represented. Coupled with consumers’ willingness to order Mediterranean food, this indicates an opportunity for emerging concepts, many of which are profiled in this report.
  • Pita sandwiches and Greek entree salads have seen healthy increases in menu incidence, and operators are also using more falafel, hummus, chickpeas and Greek yogurt, indicating a potential trend.
  • Mediterranean cuisine heavily incorporates fish, herbs, vegetables and olive oil—all ingredients that a majority of consumers consider to be healthy. Consumers seeking better-for-you fare also appreciate the cuisine’s simple preparations, use of fresh ingredients and cooking methods that instill flavor without adding fats.

Market Intelligence Report: Mediterranean, like other titles in Technomic’s growing series of Market Intelligence Reports, mines Technomic’s treasure trove of recent consumer and industry data, including: Proprietary consumer research conducted for Technomic’s Consumer Trend Reports and menu data and insights from Technomic’s exclusive MenuMonitor online trend tracking resource (a constantly updated, searchable online database of menus of more than 1,200 top chains, emerging concepts and high-volume independent restaurants). The report uses industry and trend data from Technomic’s Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report and other publications, compiled in Technomic’s exclusive Digital Resource Library, a unique online restaurant industry database. Rounding out the data are examples of restaurant industry successes with Mediterranean fare, including the new menu items and hot concepts driving innovation.

To purchase or learn more about this report please visit or contact one of the individuals listed below.

Press and Report Inquiries: Mary Chapman, 312-506-3871, or
Purchasing Details: Patrick Noone, 312-506-3852, or

About Technomic

Technomic provides food and foodservice clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.