Help diners choose healthier menu options
By Canadian Pizza
By Canadian Pizza
July 20, 2012, Lisle, Ill. – Unilever Food Solutions’ latest World Menu Report, titled Seductive Nutrition,
finds that restaurant guests want the choice of eating healthier when
dining out, but those good intentions do not always translate into
July 20, 2012, Lisle, Ill. – Unilever Food Solutions’ latest World Menu Report, titled Seductive Nutrition, finds that restaurant guests want the choice of eating healthier when dining out, but those good intentions do not always translate into action. While 66 per cent of global diners surveyed said they frequently look for healthy menu options when eating out, 72 per cent prefer to treat themselves when they place their order. More than 40 per cent of diners surveyed say the healthy option sounds less tasty or may not be as filling.
Unilever's seductive nutrition is a new approach to menu development that nudges guests to choose a slightly healthier option when eating out. The concept encourages chefs to make small menu changes to popular dishes (right size the portions, use more vegetables and choose healthier cooking methods) and then enhance the menu descriptions.
“If diners are looking for more healthy food, it's our duty to make healthy options available, but we also still want guests to be satisfied with filling, tasty dishes,” said Steve Jilleba, CMC, Unilever Food Solutions’ corporate executive chef. "Seductive nutrition is about balancing the health and appeal of your menus. For example, by using ingredients like more vegetables, leaner cuts of meat, and more aromatic spices to flavour instead of lots of salt, chefs can make dishes that are appealing and taste delicious while being a little bit healthier.”
The survey found that restaurant guests are not looking for dishes to be completely revamped or restaurant menus to be overhauled. More than two-thirds of diners would prefer to have just slightly healthier menu options to help them make their eating decisions. The survey also found that vivid menu descriptions could help entice diners to select the healthier dishes on the menu. As a part of the survey, diners were provided with a healthy dish described on two menus – the first neutral and the second more seductive. In 90 per cent of the countries surveyed, diners were more inclined to choose the dish from the menu that included descriptor words, such as steamed, succulent and fresh.
The 2012 World Menu Report: Seductive Nutrition, commissioned by Unilever Food Solutions, surveyed 5,000 diners in the United States, United Kingdom, China, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, Poland, South Africa and Indonesia to globally measure consumers’ attitudes on the challenges they face in making healthier meal choices when eating out-of-home.