Industry News | April 15, 2010

Overall, Consumers Want Access to Food Facts

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U.S. consumers support a new federal law requiring restaurants to post calorie information on their menus, with younger consumers providing the strongest support, according to Decision Analyst Inc., a leading marketing research and analytical consulting firm.

The law requires restaurant chains with 20 or more locations to disclose calorie counts on their food items and supply information about how many calories a healthy person should consume in a day.

Decision Analyst, through its ongoing Health and Nutrition Strategist proprietary study, has been tracking the issue of calorie disclosure since 2006. In its most recent study the company surveyed 4,075 consumers. Participants were asked their level of agreement on whether restaurants should post nutritional facts. Overall, 52 percent of respondents either "completely agreed" or "somewhat agreed" that restaurants should post nutritional facts on each menu item.

By gender, 55 percent of females and 45 percent of males support calorie disclosure by restaurants, according to the Decision Analyst study.

“Younger age groups are definitely more interested in calorie disclosure,” sys Diane Brewton, senior vice president. “The younger groups are likely to eat out more often, so this information will assist them on those occasions when they decide to make better nutritional choices. The older segments, on the other hand, may already be knowledgeable about good nutritional choices and feel less need for this information.”

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