Modern Day Dining Out - The Top Three Customer Demands

The findings of a new report reveal what customers are demanding when they eat out of home. The World Menu Report was commissioned by Unilever Food Solutions.
Feb. 15, 2011 - PRLog -- According to The World Menu Report , the top three things that people want to know when eating out are how the food is sourced, how it is prepared and the nutritional value of the dish.  Almost three quarters (73%) of those surveyed in the UK would like to know more about what is in their food when eating out.  

The report by Unilever Food Solutions highlights a growing consumer demand for more information on menus when eating out.  

Interestingly, the study also reveals that the majority of respondents feel that it is the responsibility of the caterer to take the lead in providing this information.

Key UK findings include:
•   61% of respondents said they preferred to eat at places which are transparent about the ingredients they use in their food
•   59% of those questioned in the UK think that knowing about nutritional information will influence the choices they make when eating out – of these 75% said it is because of health
•   58% said that caterers should take the lead in ensuring more transparency in the content of their meals when eating out
•   45% said that operators should ensure more transparency about the source of their food

•   More than a third (34%) want to know more about the ingredients in their food when eating out, specifically:
o   Content of fat (43%)
o   Salt (39%)
o   Saturated fat (35%)
o   Calories (31%)
o   Sugar (30%)

The findings come against a backdrop of the UK having the highest obesity rates in Europe  and diet related illnesses costing the NHS £6billion per year.  Unilever Food Solutions is now calling on chefs and caterers to work with them to respond to this consumer need for greater transparency around nutritional information.

Tracey Rogers, Managing Director, Unilever Food Solutions says: “The World Menu Report has highlighted a clear message to those of us within the food service industry.  We need to work together with our partners to address the issue through providing advice and information about our products.  On average, people eat one in six meals out of home and with the obesity crisis on the scale it is, we can’t afford to sit back and let the problem get worse.

“The hospitality industry is too complex and wide-ranging to respond to a one-size-fits-all solution, so we need to work collectively as an industry to come up with workable solutions that give consumers an informed choice and meet caterers’ commercial and operational criteria. We’re already working closely with our customers to provide some of the solutions so we know it’s possible.  We believe that by providing these solutions we can empower chefs to change the health of the nation.”

The launch of the World Menu Report forms part of the Unilever Food Solutions’ brand rejuvenation, identifying Unilever Food Solutions’ new vision – to support chefs and caterers in satisfying their customers with inspiring, healthy, nutritious food.  Key players in the global food industry have the responsibility to provide greater transparency about what goes into the food they create and in turn hand the power of choice back to the consumer.

Ria van der Maas, Global Nutritionist for Unilever Food Solutions said: “Over recent years we have seen a boom in fast and convenience food driven by changing consumer lifestyles.  With this has come significant concern regarding the nutritional impact of modern eating habits.  The results of this research clearly demonstrate that there is a global need for greater transparency around nutritional information when eating out of the home to empower consumers to make healthier choices.”

Tracey concludes: “We hope these findings will be the first step in encouraging the food service industry to engage in the debate around food transparency.  Working together to find an answer to this growing problem must result in improved awareness and a chance to galvanise the food industry into action. We must remember that the choices we make are shaped by the choices we have – and as part of the food industry we must give our customers what they want.  In this way we can achieve both our commercial goals and help our customers to satisfy their guests with healthy, nutritious and great-tasting food.”


For a copy of the World Menu Report findings, please contact Clare Basire from William Murray Communications on 020 8256 1360 /

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Tags:Health, Obesity, Eating Out, Chefs, Unilever Food Solutions, Research, Consumers
Industry:Health, Food, Lifestyle
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