US consumers want more nutritional disclosure at restaurants, Technomic finds

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 20th November 2012

Global research and consulting firm, Technomic, has found that US consumers are in strong favour of more nutritional disclosure in restaurants, with strong demand for listing of calories and sodium content.

Technomic reported that 70 per cent of consumers say that they care that chain restaurants disclose nutritional information, and a further 68 per cent of consumers want nutritional information in all restaurants.

The 68 per cent of consumers in favour of nutritional labelling in restaurants expressed that the information is important in making decisions, and that “it has a positive impact on consumer health and nutrition.”

However, only 38 per cent of those surveyed want local, state and/or federal government to play a more active role in regulating health and nutrition in restaurants, but 58 per cent expect governments will become more active.

In a related study of New York City foodservice outlets, Technomic reported that 51 per cent of New Yorkers support the recent ban on foodservice sales of large size servings of sugary drinks.

Bob Goldin, Technomic’s Executive Vice President and director of the referenced study, believes consumers will demand increasing transparency from restaurants.

“Consumers believe that more readily available information will help them make more informed choices when eating out. As a consequence, we expect restaurants will face growing pressure for more comprehensive nutritional disclosure,” Mr Goldin said.

Australian fast-food chains are also required to display energy values and other nutritional information, but the public display of such information is not a requirement for all restaurants. Nonetheless, consumers in Australia are entitled to obtain the nutritional information on request even when the information is not viewed on the menu or is not on public view.

Nutritional information displayed in a fast-food chain in the United States.