Evaluation of calorie information provided in catering outlets
Thursday 3 December 2009
An evaluation of calorie information that was introduced on menus in a select number of catering outlets this summer has been carried out by independent research company TNS-BMRB. The work assessed consumers' understanding and use of calorie labelling, and gathered feedback from the restaurants themselves to look at practical issues and costs that were involved in providing the information.
This forms part of the Agency's work to help people make healthier choices when they're eating out.
The Agency’s social science research is compliant with the Government Social Research service (GSR) Code of Practice and these reports are published with the GSR logo.
The evaluation found that businesses were able to implement calorie labelling and any issues encountered along the way were overcome with relative ease.
For consumers there were three factors that were found to impact on their capacity and inclination to use calorie information. These were:
- the visibility of calorie information and how it stands out from other product information, including price
- understanding of recommended calorie allowances, energy expenditure and how these relate to healthy weight management
- engaging consumers by providing positive supplementary information about the scheme and tips on saving calories
Consumers could imagine using calorie information to enable them to make positive choices to maintain a healthy weight while still enjoying their favourite foods and food outlets and suggested the impact of calorie information at the point of choice would increase as it becomes more common and awareness increases.