Australians support nutritional information displays at fast food restaurants, Nielsen survey

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th March 2012

A new report just released by Nielsen, a global information and measurement company, claims that Australians generally support requirements for fast food restaurants to display nutritional information. 

The Nielsen Global Survey was conducted in March/April 2011 and in August/September 2011 and polled more than 25,000 consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America.

According to the Nielsen Global Survey, 86 per cent of Australians are in favour of fast food restaurants including calorie counts and nutritional information on menus in some or all instances. This is higher than the worldwide average recorded by the survey, with 80 per cent of global respondents indicating that fast food restaurants should always or sometimes include calorie information on menus.  

However, this contrasts with views around privately owned restaurants, where only 58 per cent of Australian respondents feel that calorie count and nutritional information should be listed on menus.

Commenting on the results, Nielsen Pacific’s Managing Director, Chris Percy said, “We are seeing a general trend towards people wanting to live healthier lives and being given all of the necessary information to make informed choices, which naturally extends to knowing about the nutritional content of fast food.”

“Nielsen information shows that almost two-thirds of Australians think they are overweight and more than half of us are actively trying to shed some kilos. In recent years we’ve seen an increase in healthier options at fast food restaurants. This is only set to increase as companies try to maintain their sales while needing to display nutritional information,” he said.

New South Wales is the first Australian state to enforce the displaying of nutritional information at fast food outlets. However other states have passed or are reviewing similar legislation including Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.