One of Darden's core strengths is our ability to continually evolve to meet the consumer's ever-changing needs. When it comes to health and wellness, we know our guests are increasingly interested in healthy dining. We believe that responding to this growing demand will help us strengthen our relationship with our current guests, while expanding our appeal to a broader base of future guests.
Darden's approach to health and wellness is guided by three core principles:
Darden has made the most comprehensive health and wellness commitment in the restaurant industry to date. Working with the Partnership for a Healthier America, in 2011 Darden has pledged to reduce our overall calorie and sodium footprint by 10% by 2016 and by 20% by 2021.
We are making progress on our calorie and sodium goals and, in FY2013, Darden released new children’s menus that are compliant with our promise - including offering 1% milk as the default beverage, a fruit or a vegetable as the default side and prominently promoting at least one item that meets defined nutrition criteria. We have also made significant investments to enhance our nutrition analysis capabilities. These new capabilities help us to make nutritional considerations a more integral part of recipe development, in the same way taste, quality and cost have always been. This new approach has proven critical to helping us develop lighter dishes on many of our menus.
Darden's brands are offering our guests increasing options through lighter-fare selections. Seasons 52 is a pioneer in this approach and today, almost all Darden brands offer lighter fare selections. As consumer’s diets continue to evolve, Darden is providing options, including vegetarian, gluten-free and many others. The goal is to continue to provide an atmosphere where guests can be nourished while meeting their goals.
In addition to providing our nutritional information on all of our casual dining restaurant websites, in FY2010 Darden joined HealthyDiningFinder.com, an online resource center that provides consumers with "dietitian-approved" menu options, to extend the online availability of our nutritional information.