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.
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2010
Keywords: Nutrition; Labelling; Catering industry; Responsibilities; United Kingdom
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