Consumers want more transparency with menu items
Feb. 22, 2011
LISLE, ILL. — Consumers would like more information about the sourcing and nutritional value of their meals from restaurants, according to “What’s in Your Food,” a new World Menu Report from Unilever Food Solutions.
The company surveyed 3,500 diners in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, Brazil and Turkey, and found 67% of U.S. respondents said food labels including fat and calorie content would be a welcome addition to their menu when dining out with 64% saying they would choose healthier meals if more information was provided. Fat, calories, preservatives and food additives were the nutrients consumers are most interested in knowing more about when dining out. Nearly all respondents surveyed globally said restaurants should take the lead in ensuring more transparency with the content of meals.
Despite so many saying they want greater transparency about ingredient sourcing and production, preparation details and nutritional content, 83% said this information is not currently offered.
“Globally, consumers’ attitudes toward healthy eating are evolving and their desire for delicious food when dining out is constant,” said Lisa Carlson, development nutritionist, R.&D. for Unilever Food Solutions North America. “Consumers want food that tastes good, but they also want food that is good for them. Because of this, today’s chefs have a tremendous opportunity to help consumers eat better by providing healthy, great-tasting menu options as well as increasing transparency about meal content so that consumers can make informed decisions.”
Unilever said it is working to increase transparency by providing ingredient and nutritional information for all its products and is working closely with chefs and operators to create healthy and tasteful meal options.
“The World Menu Report has highlighted a clear call-to-action for those of us within the food service industry — we need to not only provide consumers with delicious food but also the information they want and need about their meal content,” said Steven Jilleba, CMC executive chef with Unilever Food Solutions North America.