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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Renata Carvalho Oliveira, Ana Carolina Fernandes, Rossana Pacheco da Costa Proença, Heather Hartwell, Vanessa Mello Rodrigues, Claudia Flemming Colussi and Giovanna M.R. Fiates

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of different menu labelling formats on healthy food choices in a real restaurant setting.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of different menu labelling formats on healthy food choices in a real restaurant setting.

Design/methodology/approach

This cross-sectional, randomised and controlled parallel-group trial was conducted in Brazil in 2013. In total, 313 university students were randomly assigned to one of three parallel groups with different menu labelling formats. Of these, data from 233 students were analysed. The others did not attend and were excluded. Intervention Group 1 (n=88) received information in the form of a traffic light plus guideline daily amounts, while Intervention Group 2 (n=74) was presented with ingredients list plus highlighted symbols (IL+S). The control group (n=71) received a menu with no menu labelling. Data were collected on one weekday in a restaurant setting. Trial outcomes were assessed by healthy food choices.

Findings

Healthy food choices of students who received the menu showing IL+S were significantly higher when compared to the other groups. This same menu labelling format positively affected healthy food choices in women, not overweight participants and in participants who often ate out more than twice a week.

Originality/value

Menu labelling format presenting ingredients list and highlighted symbols was positively associated with healthy food choices among the university students in Brazil. This type of labelling could be adopted in future legislation on menu labelling in Brazil and around the world.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 120 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2019

Greta Krešić, Nikolina Liović and Jelka Pleadin

The purpose of this paper is to assess the relationship between nutrition knowledge and grocery store nutrition label use, with using nutrition information disclosure on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the relationship between nutrition knowledge and grocery store nutrition label use, with using nutrition information disclosure on menu selection in a group of hospitality management students, who shall be responsible for menu labelling in their future careers.

Design/methodology/approach

A between-subject design included 324 students, who were randomly assigned to choose from a menu labelled as follows: unlabelled; kcal label only; graphical label providing information on the per cent of the recommended daily intake of energy and four nutrients. Their nutrition knowledge and habit of reading grocery store nutrition labels were tested using an additional questionnaire.

Findings

The results showed that the provision of energy value information resulted in the selection of less energetic, less fat and less salted food, while a graphical label additionally led to the selection of food having a lower saturated fatty acid (SFA) and sugar content. Multiple regression analysis showed that the habit of packaged food nutrition label reading was a significant predictor of choosing food having a lower energy (p<0.001), fat (p<0.001), SFA (p<0.001), sugar (p<0.001) and salt (p=0.003) content, while the influence of nutrition knowledge on food selection was proven insignificant.

Originality/value

Given the established positive impact of menu labelling, these findings support the future European policy mandating energy and nutrient content disclosure on menus, but also point to the need for more-intense consumer education.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2020

Yee Ming Lee and Erol Sozen

This study investigated whether consumers have reasonable estimates of the calorie content of Americans' top 10 favorite foods, explored the effects of calorie disclosure…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigated whether consumers have reasonable estimates of the calorie content of Americans' top 10 favorite foods, explored the effects of calorie disclosure on United States consumers' future consumption frequency of these food items, and examined the effects of health consciousness, food calorie knowledge, and attitudes toward menu labels on intention to use menu labels.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was developed, pilot tested, and distributed through Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT). The overall model fit and hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling (SEM).

Findings

The results from 1,005 completed surveys showed that the accuracy of calorie estimations varied across food items. Most consumers could not estimate the calories of steak, hamburgers, chocolate chip cookies, and vanilla ice cream within the acceptable range. Disclosure of calorie information did affect future consumption frequency of the food items. The SEM results showed that health consciousness, food calorie knowledge, and attitudes toward menu labels positively affected consumers' future intention to use menu labels.

Originality/value

This study points to a need to educate consumers about food calories and suggests plausible ways to encourage consumers' intention to use of menu labels.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 122 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2012

Robert Gallicano, Robert J. Blomme and Arjan van Rheede

Previous research has concluded that there is consumer desire for nutrition information to be provided on restaurant menu items and restaurant customers presented with…

Abstract

Previous research has concluded that there is consumer desire for nutrition information to be provided on restaurant menu items and restaurant customers presented with this information will make healthier menu choices (Mills & Thomas, 2008). Limited research has been performed in a restaurant setting measuring real rather than intended behavior. The purpose of this research experiment is to measure consumer response, in a full-service restaurant setting, to nutrition information on menu items and subsequently determine if consumers will use this information in their menu item choice. An experiment was conducted with 264 restaurant customers at a full-service a la carte restaurant. Customers chose from menu items labeled with or without a Healthy Choice® label. A logistic regression model was used to predict whether people would choose Healthy Choice menu items. Fifty-four percent of restaurant customers chose the healthy choice menu item. The logistic regression confirms that those people who desire nutrition information also use this information in their menu choice. The study concludes with recommendations for the industry on directing consumer menu choice toward healthier items.

Details

Advances in Hospitality and Leisure
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-936-3

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2010

Andrea Zick, Yvonne Wake and Sue Reeves

The food standards agency recently encouraged catering companies in the UK to introduce calorie labelling on menus or at the point of purchase. The purpose of this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

The food standards agency recently encouraged catering companies in the UK to introduce calorie labelling on menus or at the point of purchase. The purpose of this paper is to report the feasibility of implementing such a scheme in a restaurant in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

A practical case study approach was adopted whereby all foods on the menu of a London‐based five star hotel restaurant were analysed nutritionally. The menu presented the amount of calories, saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, fibre and sodium each dish contained. The issues surrounding the display of nutritional information on restaurant menus, perceived difficulties or barriers and resistance to the scheme by staff were documented qualitatively.

Findings

Time constraints, and the consequential financial costs, were identified as being barriers that need to be surmounted if the scheme is to operate successfully. The scheme was also viewed as being of low priority by the restaurant operational team.

Practical implications

The paper provides a greater understanding of the operational aspects of nutrition labelling in the catering industry.

Originality/value

This paper adds practical knowledge to the limited literature that exists in relation to nutrition labelling in restaurants in the UK and identifies barriers that need to be overcome for such schemes to be widely implemented and successful.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 40 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 2 April 2015

Charles H. Feldman, Heather Hartwell, Joseph Brusca, Haiyan Su and Hang Zhao

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the influence of nutritional information on menu choices in a higher educational setting using a menu designed by the students…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the influence of nutritional information on menu choices in a higher educational setting using a menu designed by the students themselves.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on USDA healthy eating standards, a menu comprising seven healthy and seven unhealthy meal options were presented, once unlabeled as control (n=214) and once labeled with healthy and non-healthy nutrient icons as an intervention test menu (n=212).

Findings

Findings demonstrate that despite a positive observed trend, there were no significant differences between healthy selection of labeled and unlabeled dishes (p=0.16).

Practical implications

Providing nutritional information in student cafeterias may be challenging but helpful. However, more strategies need to be developed with student input to provide nutrition data on menus in an informative, comprehensive, yet friendly way that encourages healthy eating in campus foodservices.

Social implications

No labeling system or legislation can control choices made by individuals, so the responsibility for a healthy selection must always remain personal. However, consumers should have input on menus as they have a stake in the outcome of the products.

Originality/value

This novel study tested a student-designed menu to assess whether user input can influence food choice.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Matthew Alexander, Kevin O'Gorman and Kati Wood

The purpose of this paper is to explore consumer attitudes towards the potential implementation of compulsory nutritional labelling on commercial restaurant menus in the UK.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore consumer attitudes towards the potential implementation of compulsory nutritional labelling on commercial restaurant menus in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was approached from the perspective of the consumer with the intention of gaining an insight into personal attitudes towards nutritional labelling on commercial restaurant menus and three focus groups were conducted consisting of participants with distinctly differing approaches to eating outside the home.

Findings

The research suggests that, while some consumers might welcome the introduction of nutritional labelling, it is context‐dependent and without an appropriate education the information provided may not be understood anyway. The issue of responsibility for public health is unresolved, although some effort could be made to provide greater nutritional balance in menus.

Research limitations/implications

Following this research with a quantitative investigation, the ideas presented could be verified with the opinions of a larger sample. For example, a study into the reactions to nutritionally labelled menus in various restaurant environments.

Practical implications

Consumers would react differently if this information were to be presented in a fine‐dining restaurant rather than in a popular catering or fast food scenario. The obstacles faced by restaurants to provide not only nutritional information, but also attractive, nutritious food are significant.

Originality/value

Prior to the research there were few, if any, studies into the effects of food labelling on consumer choice behaviour in the context of hospitality management.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2017

Alexander Schjøll and Frode Alfnes

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate and discuss methodology issues in menu-labelling experiments in commercial full-service restaurants, and to investigate how the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate and discuss methodology issues in menu-labelling experiments in commercial full-service restaurants, and to investigate how the menu description and price affects customers’ choice of an organic veal entrée in a Norwegian restaurant.

Design/methodology/approach

A menu-labelling experiment was conducted in a fine-dining restaurant during ordinary opening hours over a period of two weeks. The menu description of an organic veal entrée was altered repeatedly and the effect of these changes on the sales of this entrée was investigated.

Findings

Adding words to the menu description, such as “organic”, or describing animal welfare had a very limited effect on customers’ choices in the restaurant.

Research limitations/implications

The research illustrates the use of a natural field experiment in a commercial full-service restaurant and discusses strengths and weaknesses of the methodology.

Originality/value

Few experiments have been performed on the effect on credence attributes in commercial full-service restaurants and there is little knowledge about research challenges in menu-labelling experiments. This paper contributes to the knowledge on both issues by conducting a natural field experiment in a fine-dining restaurant.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1999

Shelley Gullikson, Ruth Blades, Marc Bragdon, Shelley McKibbon, Marnie Sparling and Elaine G. Toms

Recent studies of web‐site use indicate that people do not come to the web for an “experience”, they come for information. Yet, to date, web‐site design has been…

Abstract

Recent studies of web‐site use indicate that people do not come to the web for an “experience”, they come for information. Yet, to date, web‐site design has been synonymous with the “look and feel” of a site overlooking the significance of a site’s information architecture. In this study, we assessed the effect of the information architecture of an academic web site: how information is categorised, labelled and presented, and how navigation and access are facilitated. Twenty‐four participants from six faculties attempted to answer typical questions often asked within an academic milieu. They were able to find the answers to just over half the questions successfully and, in subjective assessments, gave the site a failing grade. We address how the information architecture affected their ability to negotiate the site and, additionally, make recommendations for the key ingredients: information design, access tools, and navigational aids.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2009

Bharath Josiam and Charles Foster

Dining out is integral to the American lifestyle. Diners want to make informed choices. The purpose of this research is to measure consumers' need for, and attitudes…

Abstract

Purpose

Dining out is integral to the American lifestyle. Diners want to make informed choices. The purpose of this research is to measure consumers' need for, and attitudes toward, nutritional information (NI) on menus in full‐service restaurants.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 502 participants at a full‐service restaurant on a university campus, through a survey questionnaire. Correlations, ANOVA, and descriptive statistics were utilized for data analysis.

Findings

Some market segments would dine out more often in restaurants if NI was made available. Segments concerned about NI are females, those aged 35 to 65, and those belonging to the higher income and college‐educated strata. Consumers eating healthy food at home are more likely to use NI in restaurants, as are those who dine out as a necessity. NI that consumers are most concerned about concerns fat, saturated fat, and trans‐fat.

Research limitations/implications

The current study is limited by a one‐location cross‐sectional design. Future studies should be longitudinal and be conducted in multiple locations.

Practical implications

A deeper understanding of consumers' concern could permit restaurateurs to use NI on menus to their competitive advantage, by effectively deploying a market segmentation strategy.

Originality/value

This research adds new knowledge to the present body of hospitality literature. This paper will assist managers by providing insights into the specifics of the target markets of who needs NI, and the context in which they will use NI on menus.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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