Healthful food choice in restaurants: the influence of nutrition label and main course context on consumers’ food choices in restaurants

Faasen, I.W.J. (2013) Healthful food choice in restaurants: the influence of nutrition label and main course context on consumers’ food choices in restaurants.

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Abstract:In today’s western society, the number of people with overweight increases. Therefore, stimulating consumers making healthful food choices becomes of great importance. It is still little known about consumers’ actual food choice in restaurants in the context of healthy eating. The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of nutrition labels and main course context on consumers’ food choice in restaurants. In a 2(nutrition label: present vs. absent) x 2(context main course: healthy vs. non-healthy) between subject design, 160 respondents had to indicate their starter and dessert choice using a menu card. Context of the main course was found to effect consumers’ starter choice. Namely, a compensation effect occurred when the main course was put into a healthy or non-healthy context. In other words, when consumers perceived the main course as healthy, they selected a non-healthy starter and when consumers perceived the main course as non-healthy, they selected a healthy starter. The compensation effect was not found for dessert choice. Furthermore, nutrition information had no effect on starter and dessert choice, which could be due to the fact that Dutch consumers are not familiar with restaurants providing nutrition labels on their menu cards. Besides, this study showed that consumers hold more positive attitudes towards nutrition information on product packages in comparison to nutrition information on menu cards. It can be concluded that a public information campaign would be helpful to introduce nutrition labels on menu cards and create positive consumers’ attitudes towards these labels. In addition, a public information campaign has to make the consumers aware that following a healthy lifestyle is of great importance. Finally, also restaurants must help and stimulate consumers making healthful food choices by placing healthy dishes and providing nutrition labels on their menu cards. Finally, the portion size of the food served in restaurants must decrease.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/64347
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