Foodservice operators and suppliers can appeal to women, especially older women, by offering yogurt-based sauces and other healthier substitutions for heavier sauce options. That’s the conclusion from Chicago-based Technomic Inc., a research firm specializing in foodservice trends.

Some restaurants are offering yogurt-based sauces as a better-for-you, low-fat alternative to butter- or cream-based sauces. Yogurt-based sauces give diners a way to avoid fat and calories while also adding healthy elements to their meal. Roughly two in five consumers believe that ordering menu items with yogurt-based sauces is a good way to choose a healthier option.

These sauces hold particular appeal to older female consumers. About three-fifths of women aged 55 and older (compared to just one-quarter of men of the same age) strongly agree that yogurt-based sauces are a healthy alternative to butter- or cream-based options.

Technomic says its findings are primarily relevant to operators specializing in Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern foods. But the researcher says its information still suggests the potential health benefits of providing consumers with the option to choose between two similar sauces, one incorporating a more indulgent ingredient and one with a healthier base.