World Menu Report Global Research Findings 2012

Seductive Nutrition

World Menu Report
Seductive Nutrition
Foreword by Chef Robin Ho, Executive Chef, The Marmalade Group, Singapore
The food service industry needs to face up to its responsibilities in tackling the global obesity epidemic. With one billion overweight adults and a staggering 300 million cases of obesity worldwide, this figure will rise to 1.5 billion by 2015 unless all parties, including the food service industry, take action now.
The World Menu Report: ‘Seductive Nutrition’ shows us that people really want to be given the option of eating slightly healthier food when they are dining out, but without having to compromise on taste or the feeling that it is a treat – and why should they? As a chef, when a person chooses to eat and spend their money in my restaurant, I want to give them an experience which is totally different to what they have at home. I also want to make sure that the food I’m providing meets the needs of my guests, whatever they may be, because they are the lifeblood of my business. In Asia, home cooked food tends to be more nutritious than dining out - it usually has less salt, MSG and oil. So, as eating out is generally done for a celebration, the ‘need’ to eat healthily is usually overcome by how much people decide to treat themselves. The knock on effect is that the healthy option often doesn’t make it to the table, as guests don’t want to sacrifice their favourite dish for a ‘low-fat’ or ‘reduced-salt’ alternative. We now know from this research that we can work towards beating this obesity epidemic by answering people’s wish to eat out more healthily, while still feeling that they are having a treat. In some ways chefs have already been doing this with different cooking techniques, like pressure cooking instead of frying, and marinating with herbs and spices instead of using lots of salt. But there are other things that we can do. First, we can make our top selling dishes slightly healthier e.g. by using less fat, more fresh ingredients and giving smaller portions. Then we can improve the descriptions of these dishes on our menus so they sound more appealing to our guests and inspire them to make that dish their choice. These simple changes are what make up ‘Seductive Nutrition’. By redesigning recipes and menus with ‘Seductive Nutrition’, restaurateurs will not only keep guests satisfied and coming back for more, but they will also provide part of a solution to a growing global issue. It’s not a big ask – it’s about making small changes to make a big difference. We know as chefs and operators that we have the power to improve the health of our guests so now it’s time to act on this knowledge and lead the way to beating the obesity crisis.

World Menu Report Global Research Findings 2012

Executive Summary
The first World Menu Report, launched in January 2011, focused on transparency around food when eating out-of-home. It revealed that consumers globally were calling for the provision of more information about their food when dining out.
World Menu Report: ‘Seductive Nutrition’ revisits the important topics of health and nutrition, this time looking at what chefs and operators can do to meet the needs of guests who want to make healthier meal choices and become part of the solution to the bigger issue of tackling obesity. Respondents globally have made it clear that they wish to eat more healthily when dining out. Two-thirds (66%) of people said that they will seek the healthier option on a menu, even if they don’t end up choosing it. Next to this, 71% of guests agreed that when eating out they prefer to treat themselves. This highlights the struggle between intention and choice – essentially, what people want to eat more often than not wins over what they think they should eat. It is clear from these figures that whilst people have good intentions around eating more healthily out-of-home, this does not always translate into action. Further findings from the World Menu Report suggest a lack of consumer knowledge, a “Nutritional Knowledge Gap” around some recommended nutritional allowances – at least threequarters of respondents from each of the 10 countries were unable to name the recommended daily allowance of fat. This shows us how even though some people are aware of their daily nutritional intake in terms of fat, salt and sugar, ultimately, the healthier meal option on a menu is not always clear to them. From the report insights, we can assert that this issue is exacerbated by the fact that healthier options are frequently perceived as less appealing for three key reasons: 45% say they think the healthy dishes are smaller in size, well over half (57%) believe them to be more expensive and 43% perceive them as less tasty. This last point is where making the food sound as delicious as it tastes comes into play – healthier options must be provided but without appearing to be a poor second to the more indulgent alternative. Despite this clear call for healthier choices, consumers are not demanding an overhaul of menus. A large proportion (65%) of those questioned said that they would like a ‘slightly’ healthier dish when eating out. Therefore, instead of having to introduce new, ‘healthy’ creations to their menus, operators should focus instead on making small changes to their topselling dishes to make them healthier. Overall, the report illustrates the need for food providers to make small changes to their menus to ensure guest satisfaction and, through this, drive more business. And, by positioning these dishes appealingly – ‘Seductive Nutrition’ – they can do so without their guests feeling that they are compromising on taste, value for money or fulfilment.
World Menu Report Global Research Findings 2012

International comparisons
1
Globally, two-thirds (66%) of people frequently look for the healthy option on a menu when dining out. The healthiness of a dish appears to be most important to diners in Indonesia and China, while Russian respondents seem less concerned.

“ If my diners are looking for healthy food, I want to give it to them, but I also want them to be satisfied with filling, tasty dishes. Chefs can still cook their guests’ favourite dishes, such as roast pork, and make them healthier. By using a leaner cut of meat and aromatic spices to flavour instead of lots of salt, the dish is just as tasty and satisfying, sounds delicious and is just a little bit healthier”
Chef Robin Ho, Executive Chef, The Marmalade Group

When eating out, how often do you deliberately look for the healthy option?

Figure 1:  With the exception of Russia, at least 50% of respondents in all countries look for the healthy option on the menu very or quite often.

Very often United Kingdom Germany Poland Russia USA Brazil South Africa Turkey Indonesia China 26 25 34 31 13 17 32 16 15 18

Quite often 36 39 31 27 35 42 34 41

Not very often 32 35 38 39 35

Not at all often 16 11 14 22 14 21 32 30 8 5 19 19 1 1 5

46 49 % of respondents

3

Two-thirds (66%) of respondents worldwide indicated that they would prefer to have just ‘slightly’ healthier options when eating out. This is reflected by the 60% of people who said that rather than swapping their favourite dish for the healthy alternative they often would like to make small changes to their meal to make it healthier.

“ For chefs and operators, it is imperative that we respond to the needs and desires of our consumers – they are the lifeblood of our business. We know that consumers globally are looking to eat more healthily without giving up their favourite meals and the foodservice industry must respond accordingly. To answer this, chefs and operators can make small changes to their recipes to improve the nutritional value of the dish and still keep real ‘eye appeal’ for consumers.”
Nicki Crayfourd, Global Director of Health, Safety and Environment, Compass Group PLC

Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following: “I would prefer to have slightly healthier food options when eating out.”
Agree strongly United Kingdom Agree slightly 17 14 29 23 22 34 29 29 29 36

Figure 3a Over half of respondents in all markets would prefer to have slightly healthier options when eating out.

Neither agree nor disagree 34 39 41 37 38 37 41 31 38 45 % of respondents

Disagree slightly 30 30 20 26 25 21 21 21 22

Disagree strongly 11 11 7 9 8 6 5 12 8 17 7 3 2 7 6 3 5 7 3 4

2

However, while seeking the healthier option, almost three-quarters of people (72%) say that they prefer to treat themselves when eating out-of-home.

Germany Poland Russia USA

“ When people eat out, they are generally looking for a meal and a dining experience which they can’t get at home. Ensuring our guests have a positive experience when they eat out is at the core of a chef’s role, but we also need to ensure that we are delivering on our guests’ needs and desires. If this means offering dishes which are better for you on menus, then we need to make sure that these dishes still feel like a delicious treat for people.”
Chef Steve Jilleba, Corporate Executive Chef, Unilever Food Solutions

Brazil South Africa Turkey Indonesia China

Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following with regards to choosing healthy food while eating out: “When eating out, I prefer to treat myself.”

Figure 2 The majority of respondents prefer to treat themselves when eating out.

When eating out, how often do you substitute a part of a dish for something more healthy?

Figure 3b Respondents are happy to substitute a part of a dish for something more healthy, with at least half claiming to request a substitute very or quite often.

Agree strongly United Kingdom Germany Poland Russia USA Brazil South Africa Turkey Indonesia China

Agree slightly 34 29 41 32 31 19 42 48 24 35

Neither agree nor disagree 42 46

Disagree slightly

Disagree strongly 21 22 21 21 6 18 22 9 6 9 16 6 8 7 12 2 2 4 6 2 3 2 United Kingdom Germany Poland Russia USA Brazil South Africa Turkey Indonesia China

Very often 15 12 17 22 21 30 27 21 23 24

Quite often 38 35 34 40 36 36 37 43 38 49 % of respondents

Not very often 33 35 33 27 32 23 27 29 33

Not at all often 14 18 16 12 12 10 9 7 5 25 2

45 38 39 25 27 35 29 28 52 % of respondents 24

21

12 16

World Menu Report Global Research Findings 2012

4

A clear barrier to choosing healthier dishes when eating out is the lack of knowledge around RDAs (Recommended Daily Allowance). Globally, a very high proportion of respondents were unable to identify the recommended daily calorie intake for men and women according to nutritional guidelines. At least 75% in all markets did not know what the recommended daily intake of fat was. The “Nutritional Knowledge Gap” was widest in South Africa.
“ Eating a little bit healthier every time we dine out could have a significant long-term impact on people’s overall health. Reducing as little as 25-50 calories from a dish can prevent long term weight gain in a large proportion of people. For example if you take a popular UK dish, like fish and chips, and you decrease the portion size from 150g chips (460 kcal) to 125g (385 kcal) and add 75g of peas, you would still save 25kcal and also gain the nutritional benefits of fresh vegetables.”
Ria van der Maas, Global Nutritionist, Unilever Food Solutions

Figure 4 Knowledge levels vary considerably across markets with 55% of German respondents getting within 25% of the correct figure of 2000 calories compared to just 18% in South Africa.

30

UK GERMANY POLAND RUSSIA USA BRAZIL

20 % of respondents

SOUTH AFRICA TURKEY INDONESIA CHINA

10

0
0g <1g 1-5g 6-10g 11-15g 16-20g 21-30g 31-40g 41-50g 51-60g 61-70g 71-80g 81-90g 91-100g 101-150g 151-200g >200g

Grams of fat

World Menu Report Global Research Findings 2012

5

Other barriers to healthy eating centre around consumer perceptions. Worldwide, 57% of respondents believe that the healthier option tends to be more expensive, while 45% say that healthy food isn’t filling. Over four in 10 (43%) of those questioned agreed that the healthier option usually sounds less appetising.

“ In recent years, especially in the developed world, people have increasingly looked for dishes which are better for them in restaurants and eateries. Chefs and operators have certainly responded to this request, by including these options on their menus. But to encourage people to try these dishes, we also have to design our menus so that they sound really delicious and seem like attractive options for diners to choose.
Chef Steve Jilleba, Corporate Executive Chef, Unilever Food Solutions

“ To encourage consumers to opt for more healthy food choices out of their homes, we need to address any negative preconceptions they might have against the current healthy choices on menus. We must demonstrate that healthy options don’t have to be more expensive, less tasty or less filling. It is time to rise to the challenge and provide innovative and nutritious food choices that taste good and make people feel good.”
Nicki Crayfourd, Global Director of Health, Safety and Environment, Compass Group PLC

Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following with regards to choosing healthy food while eating out: “Healthy options tend to be more expensive.”
Agree strongly United Kingdom Germany Poland Russia USA Brazil South Africa Turkey Indonesia China 17 21 24 25 22 22 22 Agree slightly 15 14 29

Figure 5a The majority of respondents feel that healthier options tend to be more expensive.

Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following with regards to choosing healthy food while eating out: “Often the healthy option is not very tasty.”

Figure 5c At least a third of respondents in all markets think that the healthy option doesn’t normally sound very tasty - with this feeling most prominent in Russia.

Neither agree nor disagree 31 35 40 35 35 36 32 38 36 44 % of respondents

Disagree slightly 33 30 13 26 26 22 22 20 21 20

Disagree strongly 17 17 15 15 13 12 14 11 15 12 7 5 6 7 9 7 2 5 5 3

Agree strongly United Kingdom Germany Poland Russia USA Brazil South Africa Turkey Indonesia China 9 11 12 10 11 7 11 13

Agree slightly

Neither agree nor disagree 33 21 30 30 17 43 29 25 34 35 35 28 30 % of respondents 27 26 18 20 21

Disagree slightly 22 25 28 19 20 23 24 18 19 26

Disagree strongly 10 13 14 12 11 13 12 14 16 12 6

25

15

14

Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following with regards to choosing healthy food while eating out: “The healthy option is not very filling.”
Agree strongly United Kingdom Germany Poland Russia USA Brazil South Africa Turkey Indonesia China 10 14 12 12 14 13 7 13 17 31 25 Agree slightly 14 21

Figure 5b In all markets, with the exception of Germany and Brazil, over four in 10 respondents agree that the healthy option often isn’t filling.

Neither agree nor disagree 35 30 39 47 27 24 35 35 31 29 % of respondents 20 22 23 31 14

Disagree slightly 26 28 27 16 20 24 22 15 21

Disagree strongly 17 14 7 14 11 13 11 16 11 25 2 6 8

World Menu Report Global Research Findings 2012

7

Whilst ensuring tastiness, value for money and creating a filling dish chefs should adapt their dishes to include the changes that consumers in their country say would make a meal ‘slightly’ healthier. This includes offering plenty of vegetables, lowering the fat content, reducing portion size, grilling not frying, using fresh ingredients and lowering calorie levels.

6

When shown a healthy fish dish described on a ‘neutral’ menu (i.e. steamed trout, whole grain rice, tomato sauce, grilled root vegetables with a garlic and olive oil dressing) and a ‘seductive’ menu (i.e. Line caught steamed trout, whole grain rice, tasty tomato sauce, spicy grilled root vegetables with an authentic Italian garlic and olive oil dressing) respondents in nine out of 10 countries thought it sounded more appealing on the latter. This shows that one of the main barriers to diners choosing a healthy option on a menu is the unappealing way it is described.

“ A well-written seductive menu can have extra appeal for guests, as they allow consumers to understand the origin of the ingredients and also the cooking process - how they have been treated and prepared in the kitchen.”
Chef Robin Ho, Executive Chef, The Marmalade Group

“Dining out should always be a treat, but particularly when eating out more frequently the meal composition is becoming increasingly important.  As today’s diners are health and weight conscious, the challenge is to offer attractive and filling menu items with fewer calories and fat and more vegetables. As part of ‘Seductive Nutrition’ a meaningful 25-50 kcal reduction of a meal can be achieved for example by replacing fruit in syrup with fresh fruit.”
Ria van der Maas, Global Nutritionist, Unilever Food Solutions

Figure 6 In nine out of 10 countries the seductive menu made respondents think the fish dish was more tasty. This is strongest in South Africa, UK and Germany

Figure 7 Plenty of vegetables and menus low in fat were selected as the top options that restaurants should adopt to provide healthier menus

al av er ag U e ni te d Ki ng do G er m m an y Po la nd

ic

a

Br az il

ut h

Ru ss

lo b

Tu r

United Kingdom Germany Poland Russia USA Brazil South Africa Turkey Indonesia China

-49 -62 -79 -72 -46 -56 -48 -64 -70 -77

57 70 75 74 50 58 61 69 75 78

Plenty of vegetables (raw and cooked) Low in fat Right sized portions Grilled Fresh ingredients used Lower in calories

34 32 26 22 20 19

41 21 37 9 17 17

40 37 28 24 12 21

44 37 17 7 32 16

38 39 18 31 40 9

34 19 27 11 13 15

32 23 35 10 13 11

42 24 30 11 19 13

16 36 20 42 24 26

30 54 27 36 11 16

% of respondents

World Menu Report Global Research Findings 2012

Ch
23 34 25 39 21 41

So

In

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G

%

SA

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Neutral Very / quite tasty

Seductive Very / quite tasty

A fr

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ne

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Conclusion
This third World Menu Report by Unilever Food Solutions identifies a key consumer insight which is within the power of the food service industry to act on. Diners globally are making it clear that they want to eat more healthily – but the cost, taste and satisfaction barriers appear to be stopping them. Add to this the ‘Nutritional Knowledge Gap’ and it’s even harder for people to make informed choices around eating healthily when out-of-home. This in turn becomes a crucial issue for chefs and operators. Within the continuing tough business climate, keeping diners happy is more important than ever in order to maintain a successful business. Unilever Food Solutions realises that as a leading food service provider, it has both the responsibility and ability to help promote healthy eating in a way that delivers great taste and appeal by understanding what makes diners choose something a little bit healthier. The answer, we believe, lies in ‘Seductive Nutrition’ - the creation and positioning of healthier dishes as equal in taste, value for money and overall satisfaction to their less healthy counterparts. It’s also about identifying ways to “nudge” people towards a healthier option. It is evident from the findings of the report that diners do not want nor do they expect a complete menu overhaul. Alternatively, they are asking for ‘slightly’ healthier options to choose from. Instead of having to introduce new dishes to their menus, operators should focus on making small changes to their top-selling dishes. This means that guests get the best of both worlds – their favourite food, but made healthier. By ensuring these dishes are designed to sound as tasty and attractive as possible to diners, chefs and operators will be offering healthier food without compromising on its appeal. Diners want inspiration, not just information. This is simple for chefs and operators to execute, and will ensure that their guests are happy with their choices. Making these small yet significant changes will lead to increased guest satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth – and ultimately help make a big difference to the health of their guests and their bottom line. Unilever Food Solutions is on hand to help chefs and operators make these changes easily and efficiently. It is introducing a ‘Seductive Nutrition’ Service to help its customers adapt their menus with ‘slightly healthier’ versions of their favourite dishes. By ensuring these versions are designed to sound and taste as delicious as possible to diners, chefs will be offering healthier food with greater appeal. ‘Seductive Nutrition’ is part of the contribution towards tackling the global obesity crisis and the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan goal of helping more than one billion people improve their health and well-being by 2020. Consumers agree that when it comes to a healthy menu, it is fresh vegetables and low fat items which are their desired choices, highlighting to chefs and operators the small change they can adopt in their menus. One small step for us is a big step towards a healthier guest – and a healthier business.

About the survey
World Menu Report: ‘Seductive Nutrition’ is the third instalment of the global report of eating-out-of-home trends by Unilever Food Solutions. The first and second reports, ‘What’s in Your Food’ and ‘Sustainable Kitchens – Reducing Food Waste’, were released in 2011 and are a definitive snapshot of consumer dining habits. World Menu Report research is conducted by BrainJuicer® in partnership with salt PR. The research was conducted by interviewing a representative sample of people from 10 countries representing both the developed and developing world: USA, UK, China, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, Poland, South Africa and Indonesia. 5000 people (500 from each of the 10 countries) who eat out at least once a week were questioned.

Methodology
The World Menu Report research was conducted using BrainJuicer®’s signature quali-quant tools like MindReader®, a patented approach for asking openended questions to deliver richer, deeper diagnostics in quantitative research and FaceTrace®, a unique and award-winning approach to measuring emotions.

World Menu Report Global Research Findings 2012

Unilever Food Solutions Who We Are
At Unilever Food Solutions, we help chefs all over the world serve tasty, wholesome meals that keep guests coming back for more. We create ingredients that save precious prep time in the kitchen, without compromising on flavour or flair and constantly provide ideas and inspiration that keep your menu fresh and exciting. Our ingredients are some of the staples of professional kitchens in 74 countries around the world: Knorr, Hellmann’s, Lipton and more. We’ve been in food since the 1880s. We’re chefs ourselves. So we understand that critical balance between impressing your guests and making a profit. And how to keep your menus and recipes fresh and exciting, as times and tastes change.
For more information contact the Unilever Food Solutions global press office: ufs@saltlondon.com +44 208 870 6777

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