Calorie labelling likely to impact what and where consumers eat

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Research shows calorie labelling legislation coming into force today is likely to influence more than half of consumers’ choices when it comes to choosing what to eat (57%) and where they eat, with 43% saying they’d be more likely to select a restaurant with calorie labelling on the menu.

Whilst there has been some public scepticism around whether the new legislation – which applies to restaurants and takeaways with over 250 employees – will support the Government’s aim of tackling obesity, it is clearly welcomed by many consumers – 68% of consumers surveyed feel the new legislation is a ‘good’ move.

The research was carried out by technology company Vita Mojo in partnership with Kam Media and based on a nationally representative study of over 1,000 participants.

It also found that just 21% of consumers think that the legislation will have a positive effect on the nation’s obesity levels, however, the majority of consumers do track calories. Gen Z is more focused on tracking calories than millennials, as are those consumers living in urban areas. When it comes to the sexes, only 30% of men say they don’t track calories in any way, similar to women (25%) .

Vita Mojo, whose technology powers over 90 UK restaurant brands, urges all restaurant owners, including smaller businesses, to look beyond the legislation and focus on the consumer.

Stefan Catiou, co-founder says, “Our research shows consumers want to know more about what they eat, both in terms of how it impacts and supports their health goals as well as where the food comes from. This requirement is only going to increase, with younger generations taking even more interest in what they eat and how it is sourced.”

“There are many restaurants already doing this like LEON, Nando’s and YO! It is these restaurants that will be more successful in retaining existing customers and attracting future generations, taking their customer experience to the next level, and empowering them to make the right meal choice to meet their needs.”

Katy Moses, founder & MD of KAM Media, say: “We know consumers are increasingly asking questions about the food and drink they consume. From food miles and sustainability through to calorie count and allergen labelling, Brits want easy access to the information which is important to them. The research highlighted that for restaurants in urban areas, home to high populations of Generation Z, it’s particularly important to make this information available. Giving these customers easy access to a clear breakdown of calories, dietary tags and allergens makes good business sense.”

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