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Global Consumers Want More Nutritional Information When Dining Out, Study Finds

Thursday, February 24, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

Seventy percent of U.S. diners want more information about the sourcing and nutritional value of their meals when dining out, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) saying they would choose healthier meals if more information was provided, according to Unilever Food Solutions’ new World Menu Report, "What's in Your Food?"

The global report surveyed 3,500 diners in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, Brazil and Turkey who eat out at least once a week.

The demand for more information was less pronounced among U.S. diners than their counterparts in non-western and developing nations, where 90 percent or more of respondents said they wanted greater transparency about meal content.

Technomic’s recent 2010 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report found that nearly half of U.S. consumers say they want healthier menu items, but only about a quarter of them actively consider nutrition when dining out. 

Similarly, a study published in January 2011 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examined purchasing trends at King County, Washington, fast-food restaurants where a mandatory menu labeling law went into effect two years prior. The evaluation showed that thirteen months after the law took effect, the additional menu information had almost no effect on what people bought.

But across all surveyed countries in the new World Menu Report, fat, calories, preservatives and food additives topped respondents’ lists of the nutrients and ingredients they are most interested in knowing more about when dining out. In the United States and United Kingdom, sodium is also seen as an important topic for information, while in China respondents would like to know more about the vitamins and proteins in their meals.

Additionally, nearly all respondents surveyed globally said that restaurants should take the lead in ensuring more transparency regarding the content of meals.

For more information, go to http://www.unileverfoodsolutions.com/.



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