Topline Trends Tuesdays: Fried food facts

friedtempuraI’m wondering if anyone else got the memo about how North Americans are fat and make bad food choices. No? Just me? Okay then, listen up: apparently we should treat fried and battered meal and snack choices as sometimes foods. Sorry for the let-down, but it’s true.

And I’m pretty sure 99% of the people who order fried food know that information, too. Yet, we still keep buying it.

In fact, as this article in Restaurants & Institutions Magazine points out, some restaurants are thwarting the recession by offering more fried food menu items. Apparently this is one of the categories of foods that people prefer not to make at home so they visit restaurants specifically to get their fried food fixes. As a small consolation, more chefs and cooks are frying up battered veggies as well as fries and fish but they’re still selling a whole lotta fried food including pickles, twinkies and bacon at places like the Burger and Cheesesteak Factory in Athens, Georgia.

Why do we keep succumbing to the lure of crisply-cooked, lavishly-salted chicken, fish and potatoes? QSR Magazine (yeah, I know, my nightstand reading selection really could be racier!) reports on a Technomic study that asked American consumers what qualities they associate with fried food. The results reveal that these foods hit a lot of emotional triggers:

• 89% tasty
• 86% satisfying
• 83% filling
• 80% something I crave
• 77% comforting
• 71% good value

I’m guessing that a Canadian study would net fairly similar results. How about you? Do you dream about donuts, fantasize about French fries or swoon for shrimp tempura? Come on: admit it. When’s the last time you feasted on fried food?

10 Responses to Topline Trends Tuesdays: Fried food facts

  1. truenorth67 says:

    Just this past Sunday…Greek fries…twice done too! I’m aware of the fried food in my diet, try to limit but it’s still there in the diet.

  2. I rarely eat fried foods. Not because I’m virtuous, but because they aren’t my weakness. Now, oooey-gooey desserts? I’m there.

    I like a spring roll or pakora with Asian food and admit to the occasional yearning for sweet potato fries, but I have no desire for fried chicken or battered fish. If the main doesn’t shriek for a side of fries, it’s easy to resist. Perhaps this (and saving room for dessert) makes the difference?

  3. Andrea says:

    I stole some fries off someone’s plate yesterday and fries were a factor in deciding what to order for dinner. In the end I opted for something that doesn’t come with fries. A couple of weeks ago I went to Chippy’s and had fish and chips for the first time in years – maybe the first time since childhood.

    I like the smell of fried food. It always looks and smells better than it tastes. I still have a weakness for McDonald’s fries, even though I haven’t eaten anything there in probably over a year. Now that I’ve said that I wonder if it still qualifies as a “weakness”.

  4. Heather says:

    I’m not sure what I love more…fried foods, or desserts. Fried foods tend to be salty which I think adds to my love of them. While they are loved in our home, we do try to limit fried foods…besides my homemade oven fries are devoured with much joy, faster than restaurant fries. With it now being BBQ season (at least it should be, weather’s beend gross here) who needs the fried stuff, BBQ is much more tastey!

  5. Diva says:

    While I do swoon for shrimp tempura … I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate it, or anything fried for that matter. I just don’t eat much fried food and not because I’m on a diet either. I never have. I make exception for really amazing onion rings, but I have know they’ll knock my socks off before I splurge.

    Like Charmian, I will also allow for the occasional spring roll or pakora as well. Though I could probably live the rest of my life with a french fry … weird, but true.

  6. cheryl says:

    Fried calamari, fried artichoke fritters, and fried chicken — maybe a few times a year at most. My penchant for sweets has always far outshone my craving for crispy fried food.

    Honestly, sorry, but I think fried food is generally gross.

  7. Barb says:

    I don’t crave it generally either. I like it once in a while though as long as it isn’t the whole meal. Stealing a few from someone willing to share usually works. Having said that; I did have chicken fingers a few days ago…..

  8. danamccauley says:

    I think mass manufacturing has ruined fried food – most fast food fries and onion rings are terrible! But, a good doughnut, fresh out of the fat, one of Martin’s fantastic fries or a real fried chicken like Ezra Pound Cake featured in her blog last week and I’m weak in the knees!

  9. The last fried food at had was churros at Julie’s house on Easter.

    My Baba would have been proud of these restaurants. She gave me crap for not feeding my husband enough fried food. Apparently his 6 foot plus frame needed more plumping and I was a bad wife for not feeding him properly. Interestingly, he’s not much of a fan of fried food. He does, however, joke about the need for deep fried bacon-wrapped butter.

  10. Kevin says:

    I don’t generally have deep fried foods all that often though I have not eliminated them from my diet. I would not want to give up my fish and chips! 🙂

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