Most Americans claim to be reformed veggie lovers after hating vegetables as a kid

New research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Red Robin reveals many Americans are now vegetable fanatics (Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash).

Nearly seven in 10 Americans have experienced a “glow up” within the past five years, but it may not be what you think.

New research found this glow up refers to eating our vegetables.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said veggies are now used in more innovative ways, and 52% said this veggie glow up has made them full-fledged vegetable fanatics.

The survey of 2,000 Americans found three-quarters describe themselves as reformed veggie lovers, citing that they enjoy eating veggies more today compared to when they were kids.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Red Robin, the survey found 39% of respondents are also thanking their time in quarantine for their veggie glow up, saying they started to enjoy eating vegetables more during this time.

When asked which veggies have grown on them over the years, the top varieties are broccoli, spinach, asparagus, avocados and cauliflower.

Seven in 10 respondents also shared they’re enjoying healthier options overall compared to a few years ago and 69% are more likely to eat a veggie that’s versatile and can be eaten in a variety of ways.

Some of the most versatile veggies included staples like potatoes, tomatoes and onions, but one in five of respondents said cauliflower is a newfound versatile veggie, alongside cucumbers, green beans and spinach.

One in five (22%) respondents said there were certain veggies they ate for the first time ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of these veggies included leafy greens like kale and spinach, while 19% said this was their first time eating broccoli and 17% finally tried cauliflower.

Of those that finally tried cauliflower, these new “cauli converts” explored cauliflower pizza crust (41%), cauliflower rice (37%) and cauliflower buffalo “wings” (34%).

“We’re confident even the most vegetable-averse diners will be pleasantly surprised that cauliflower can taste this good,” said Executive Vice President & Chief Concept Officer at Red Robin, Jonathan Muhtar.

The top things holding respondents back from eating more veggies today included texture issues (21%), being a picky eater in general (18%), struggling to make them tasty (15%) and restaurants not having enough veggie options (13%).

Thirty-five percent of those surveyed, however, still have veggies they struggle to eat because they were forced to eat them as kids — with spinach and brussels sprouts leading the pack at 24%. One in five also struggles to eat broccoli and cauliflower.

On the bright side though, of these respondents, 52% are open to trying these veggies.

TOP VEGGIE HESITATIONS AS AN ADULT TODAY

  1. I don’t like certain textures — 21%
  2. I’m just a picky eater overall — 18%
  3. I feel like I can never make them taste good — 15%
  4. They always go bad before I can eat them — 13%
  5. Not enough options when eating out/ordering takeout — 13%
  6. Options at a restaurant don’t sound good/tasty — 12%
  7. I didn’t like them as a child, so I don’t think I’ll like them now — 11%
  8. I don’t know how to cook them — 9%
  9. I don’t have access to good, fresh vegetables — 9%
  10. I was forced to eat them as a child, so now I’m just stubborn — 7%
  11. My parent(s) forced me to eat them as a child, so I just refuse to eat them — 7%

TOP VEGGIES THAT AMERICANS HAVE COME TO ENJOY

  1. Broccoli — 34%
  2. Spinach — 30%
  3. Asparagus — 29%
  4. Avocados — 28%
  5. Cauliflower — 28%
  6. Tomatoes — 27%
  7. Onions — 27%
  8. Potatoes — 26%
  9. Peppers — 25%
  10. Carrots — 24%
  11. Brussels sprouts — 24%
  12. Green beans — 23%
  13. Beans — 23%
  14. Cucumbers — 21%
  15. Corn — 21%
  16. Okra — 15%
  17. Kale — 15%

MOST VERSATILE VEGGIES

  1. Potatoes — 58%
  2. Tomatoes — 45%
  3. Onions — 43%
  4. Peppers — 32%
  5. Beans — 31%
  6. Carrots — 30%
  7. Corn — 29%
  8. Broccoli — 26%
  9. Avocados — 25%
  10. Cucumbers — 22%
  11. Green beans — 22%
  12. Spinach — 22%
  13. Cauliflower — 21%
  14. Asparagus — 14%
  15. Brussels sprouts — 11%
  16. Okra — 10%
  17. Kale — 10%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<
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