Foodservice calorie disclosures impacting orders, visits

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CHICAGO –The mandated calorie disclosure for New York City restaurants with 15 or more units is affecting what items consumers order and which restaurants they visit, according to a survey conducted by foodservice consultants Technomic Inc.

Eighty-six percent of New York City diners were surprised by the calorie-count information now listed on menus or menu boards, with 90% of them claiming that the calorie count was higher than expected. As a consequence, 82% say that calorie disclosure is affecting what they order and 60% say it is affecting where they visit. Researchers also found evidence that suggests a high level of consumer support for mandated disclosure of fat and sodium content in restaurant foods.

"Consumers find the calorie information on menus to be helpful," said Bob Goldin, executive vice president. "Consumers want restaurants to offer more low-calorie options."

Consumers also want the restaurant industry to respond more aggressively to nutritional concerns and are in favor of all levels of government playing a more active role in regulating restaurant menus, said Kathy Gaynor, Technomic’s study director.

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