Magazines Archives - 2011 Feb
More consumers demand transparency in their food choices, report says
MORE and more consumers want to know what is in their food when they dine out, a new report revealed last month. According to the 2011 Unilever Food Solutions World Menu Report released by global food ingredients producer Unilever Food Solutions (UFS), nine out of 10 diners said that they are looking for more information about their food.
The study, which kicked off two years ago to help identify what consumers were looking for when they eat outside of the home, surveyed over 3,500 diners from seven countries, namely the US, the UK, China, Germany, Russia, Brazil and Turkey.
At a press briefing held last month, David Lowes, UFS vice-president of marketing for Asia, Africa and the Middle East (AAME), shared that the results also showed that the top three categories that concerned diners were the source of the food, how it was prepared, and its nutritional value.
Of the seven countries surveyed, 95% of respondents in China said that they wanted to know more about their meals when eating out, followed by 91% in Brazil and 90% each in Russia and Turkey. Additionally, 87% of respondents in China agreed that knowing the nutritional content of their meals would influence their choices when dining out. Pointing out that the results show a global need for more transparency in nutritional information of meals out of the home so that consumers are better informed to make healthier choices, Dr Lara Ramdin, UFS R&D director (AAME), added: The launch of the World Menu Report is about what we are going to do about it now and how we can really make a difference to chefs and diners.
Lowes also maintained that the study was not about telling consumers what they want. [The report] is more about asking consumers what they want. And what weve identified is that consumers want choice, so that they can then decide what they want to do, which is one of the key things about the report, he continued.
The study also identified that of the various channels to keep consumers informed of their choices, restaurant and canteen operators topped the list with the majority of respondents stating that this channel should take responsibility in providing information on the content of their meals.
The World Menu Report has highlighted a clear message to those of us within the foodservice industry. We need to work together with our partners to address the issue through providing comprehensive advice and information about our ingredients, added Jacqueline Chook, vice-president South-east Asia for UFS.
To do this, the company, which has a dedicated team of nutritionists and R&D scientists working with over 30 chefs across Asia, will be launching a region-wide campaign to increase transparency of what is in the meals in restaurants, food courts and diners, Chook maintained.
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