Posted on May 31, 2022, 4 p.m.
According to recent research, the average person is eating 4 salads a week, but only 14% are using the dressing as a dip on the side rather than toppings, and iceberg lettuce seems to be set to overtake the popularity of kale.
What will be in your next salad, kale or iceberg lettuce? According to this poll conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Fresh Express of 2,000 American adulting, 31% think that iceberg lettuce makes the best salad base while 23% prefer kale. Findings also reveal that the average American is eating 4 salads per week, and 62% report that salads are part of their regular diet.
Salads may look simple, but there are many factors that can go into creating that ideal salad mixture, with 48% of respondents agreeing that there is an ultimate salad. 78% think the ultimate salad should be chopped, 60% think it should be tossed with dressing, 58% think it is best presented as a side dish, and the 51% say that this ultimate salad needs to have lots of topping in it as well, 57% think fruit makes great toppings and 52% think that roasted vegetables make great toppings.
15% think that iceberg lettuce makes the best salad base, 14% prefer spinach, and 13% use romaine lettuce. 36% like to include crunching toppings like croutons, 33% like walnut toppings, and 33% line to throw in some almonds. 46% like to add savory toppings like eggs, 45% like to toss in some seeds, and 45% like to sprinkle on some cheddar cheese. 18% like tomatoes in their salads, 17% enjoy cucumbers, and 16% put carrots in their salads. 13% think that a balsamic vinaigrette makes the best dressing, 12% like blue cheese, and 11% say that ranch makes the best ultimate salad dressing.
This survey also suggests that salad preferences vary by generation, for example, 22% of Gen Z prefer to include fruit like blueberries(22%) and strawberries(22%) in their salads, and 43% of Millennials opt for croutons as their preferred topping as do 47% of Gen Xers and 43% of Boomers. 56% of Gen Z thinks salads should be a main dish, while the others still consider it to be a side dish.
But when it comes to toppings all generations agreed that salads need to have a minimum of 3 toppings, with 69% saying that a salad is not complete without toppings and 65% will not eat a salad without dressing. 35% like to mix dressing into their salads, 34% drizzle dressing over the salad, and only 14% keep the dressing on the side to use as a dip. Some toppings made the list of less desirable items such as 32% reporting that they don’t like seeds in salads, 39% don’t like popcorn in salads, 29% think beans don’t belong in salads, and 25% say that rice should never make an appearance in salads.
“People continue to eat at home more often but are feeling recipe fatigue. Salads are a great way to not only eat fresh, healthy, ingredients but also encourage variety in everyday meals,” says Fabian Pereira, vice president of marketing and innovation at Fresh Express, in a statement. “The base, toppings, and dressing combinations are endlessly customizable. For those that want to keep mealtimes simple, salad kits are a great way to get everything in one convenient package.”
63% report that the toppings used depend on the nutritional value, and 61% say that toppings vary depending on the season with 43% reporting that summer is the best time for salads and only 5% think winter salads are best. Salads are becoming very popular, 27% report eating them to get all of their veggies in one meal, 24% say that they are a more healthful option, 15% say that they are easy and convenient to make, and 31% said that they prefer to have a salad as the perfect lunchtime meal.
“It’s great to see so much creativity and variety in the salads people make at home,” says Robin Bell, marketing manager at Fresh Express. “The survey showed people think there is an ‘ultimate salad,’ but we think any salad that is nutritious, delicious, and convenient and gets people excited to eat more vegetables is the ultimate!”
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine.
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