Despite a drop in the average number of overall items offered on restaurant menus since 2008, shrimp’s presence has grown significantly over the past year, according to data from Technomic Inc.
Although Americans are seeing a slightly reduced presence of their favorite crustacean in the appetizer category, more menu items offer it as an optional add-on.
Additionally, shrimp is experiencing healthy growth on menu entrée sections, and even healthier growth on kids’ menus, where restaurants are facing pressure to offer better-for-you items.
Bahama Breeze, owned by Darden Restaurants Inc., added this summer an entrée Cuba Libre Shrimp Salad with pineapple and candied almonds in sugar-cane vinaigrette. And Applebee’s put a Spicy Pineapple Glazed Shrimp & Spinach entrée on its Weight Watchers menu.
Among the kids’ offerings are the Shrimpkins at Charley’s Crab, (locations in Palm Beach, Fla., and Grand Rapids, Mich.) fried shrimp and chicken strips with fries. Joe’s Crab Shack, with 120 units, offers a Kid’s Steampot, which includes snow crab, three shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob and potato.