Consumers 'warming' to compulsory calorie labelling

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutritional information, Nutrition

Dining out: calorie labelling could be compulsory
Dining out: calorie labelling could be compulsory
A survey has revealed that 64% of consumers would like pub and restaurants to be forced to include calorie information on menus. The Mystery Dining...

A survey has revealed that 64% of consumers would like pub and restaurants to be forced to include calorie information on menus.

The Mystery Dining Company survey of 300 restaurant-goers found that 71% of consumers would like to see calorie counts on menus and 75% pay more attention to nutritional information than five years ago.

Around half sad they would change their ordering behaviour if nutritional information was included on drinks menus, compared to 68% who said information would affect their food ordering. A fifth of respondents said they would order whatever they wanted.

However, 39% said they would like the opton of menus with and without nutritional information, 43% said it should be compulsory and 15% said it should be online only. More people were open to the idea of compulsory calore counts on menus than in last year's survey.

Warming to the idea

The Mystery Dining Company director Steven Pike said: "Consumers do appear to be warming to the idea of having nutritional information included on menus.

"I think many restaurateurs, especially chains and those whose trade centres around everyday eating as opposed to special occasions, have already recognised the need to offer lighter or healthier options in order to appeal to a growing percentage of their customers.

"The widespread introduction of nutritional information could have a serious impact on restaurateurs - both in terms of the time needed to ensure details are accurate and the cost required to reprint menus.

"Getting the right balance in a menu will be one of the biggest challenges moving forward; as we have seen from these survey results, the presence of nutritional information will have an impact on purchasing habits.

"Value for money is generally perceived as the most important thing for consumers when they are eating out.

"Starters, desserts and side orders may suffer in popularity, and therefore impact on profit margins, however, dishes that can be shared amongst two or more people may be embraced as they are seen as a way to ration calorie intake without compromising on the eating out experience."

Related topics: Healthy options

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