Tradition is Tasty: Olive Garden Survey Finds Spaghetti and Meat Sauce Remain Favorites Among Americans

Survey Helps Kick off Annual Never Ending Pasta Bowl Promotion, Uncovers Pasta Passions

ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug 26, 2010) /PRNewswire/ — A national survey, fielded this month by Olive Garden and conducted by Kelton Research, found that traditional cuisine often wins when it comes to the American appetite. Almost three quarters (74%) of Americans who eat pasta prefer the traditional pasta sauces of meat, Alfredo or marinara. Nearly one-in-four (22%) pasta eaters consider spaghetti their favorite pasta.

To help launch this year’s Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotion, Olive Garden asked Americans to share their pasta passions. Additional survey highlights included:

  • Ninety-seven percent of Americans are pasta eaters.
  • Nearly three quarters (74%) of those who put sauce on their pasta would select meat sauce, Alfredo or marinara if forced to eat one for the rest of their lives.
  • Close to seven in ten (68%) Americans think Italian restaurants are the perfect place to bring the family.
  • When it comes to food, 35 percent of Americans associate Italian cuisine with generosity and abundance, more than any other type of cuisine.

The Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotion, available now until October 10th, can appease any pasta preference. The promotion offers never ending servings of pasta and more than 40 pasta-sauce combinations at only $8.95 per guest, and also comes with our never ending garden salad, or soup, and breadsticks.

“This survey shows how much Americans love pasta, and explains why Never Ending Pasta Bowl has been an Olive Garden guest favorite,” said Terry Stanley, executive vice president of marketing for Olive Garden. “It’s fun and it’s a great value at $8.95.”

This year, Olive Garden is introducing two new sauces as part of the promotion: the Creamy Parmesan Portobello Sauce and Chianti Three Meat Sauce. Additionally, for the first time, Olive Garden included a menu add-on of unlimited Roasted Chicken to compliment the pasta dishes.

For more information, guests can visit www.NeverEndingPastaBowl.com or www.Facebook.com/OliveGarden.

About Olive Garden:

Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 700 restaurants, more than 85,000 employees and $3 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a part of the Darden family of restaurants (NYSE: DRI), the world’s largest company-owned and operated full-service restaurant company. For more information, visit Olive Gardenís Web site at www.olivegarden.com.


Media Contact:

Heidi Schauer
(407) 245-5642
Colleen Hart
(312) 240-2964