A new survey reveals our attitudes to the food we eat when we are away from home and eat out at cafes and restaurants.

Kiwis want to know more about what’s in their restaurant and cafe food, says a survey held across eight countries.
At least 500 people aged 18+ were surveyed in each country including UK, USA, Germany, China, Brazil, Russia, Turkey and New Zealand determining preferences for likes and dislikes when eating out, reasons for eating out, ideas for improvement and their feeling towards healthier options.

While many Kiwis wanted to eat out more (34%), financial constraints were identified as the main barrier (49%) distantly followed by having enough time (14%). But when we do eat out, 63% of Kiwis wish there was more information about the nutrients and ingredients used in their meal; particularly around the fat content and calories. When asked how important food sources were, 71% said that buying ‘locally sourced food’ was a significant factor in their decision-making process, followed by ‘seasonally sourced food’ (67%). ‘Ethically sourced food’ and ‘Free range sourced food’ was important to 60% of respondents.

When asked for their recommendation for New Zealand restaurant and cafes, 58% wanted the price of eating out come down, and only 28% felt there needed to be better service standards in the industry.

The Unilever Food Solutions Global Menu Report was commissioned to act as a barometer of the current state for the food service business around the world. The survey forms part of the Unilever Food Solutions brand rejuvenation, identifying the first key industry issue to be addressed by chefs, caterers and the foodservice industry as a whole. Ria van der Maas, Global Nutritionist for Unilever Food Solutions, says there has been a boom in fast and convenience food driven by changing consumer lifestyles:

“With this has come significant concern regarding the nutritional impact of modern eating habits, largely as the result of more choices, larger portions and increased access to fast foods. The results of this research clearly demonstrate that there is a global need for greater transparency around nutritional information when eating out of the home to empower consumers to make healthier choices.” Unilever Food Solutions Managing Director Yezdi Daruwalla says that with a busy time coming up for our food service industry, it is more relevant than ever for the New Zealand food industry to know what Kiwis value in their food purchased out of home.

“These results suggest that New Zealanders have a high expectation for quality in their food and want to know as much about what has been used to prepare their cafe and restaurant meals as they would when making it at home themselves.”

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