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CHICAGO—In a recent survey of restaurant user attitudes conducted by market researcher Technomic, 65 percent of consumers favor nutritional labeling in restaurants. The strongest demand is to list calorie and sodium content.Seventy percent of consumers say they care that chain restaurants disclose calorie and other nutritional information on their menus and 68 percent want nutritional information on all restaurant menus, not just chains. About the same percentage claim that having this information is helpful in making ordering decisions and believe it has a positive impact on consumer health and nutrition.
That desire for nutritional regulation of labeling is at odds with the recipients' political philosophies. Only 38 percent want local, state and/or federal government to play a more active role in regulating health and nutrition in restaurants.
Bob Goldin, Technomic's Executive Vice President and director of the referenced study, believes consumers will demand increasing transparency from restaurants. He claims that "consumers believe that more readily available information will help them make more informed choices when eating out. As a consequence, we expect restaurants will face growing pressure for more comprehensive nutritional disclosure."
Large restaurant franchisors initially fought the menu label laws creeping up in municipilaties and states. They then later embraced the cost savings of having a single federal labeling standard instead of multiple standards to comply with.