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Posting Calorie Counts On Menus May Not Make Much Of A Difference In Purchase Patterns

September 14, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
As America awaits implementation of a restaurant menu labeling law, market research NPD Group finds that posting calorie counts on restaurant menus may have only a slight impact on consumer meal selections. In two types of testing, the group found that food choices labeled “fewer calories” were not ranked as a high priority. Quality (fresh, natural and nutritious) and portion size (smaller) were given higher rankings by testing panelists. When doing comparative testing – menus with and without calorie postings – among adults over age 18, panelists did choose lower calorie items, but the difference wasn’t that big. The average number of calories ordered when calories were posted was 901, compared to 1,021 when calories were not posted, NPD said.
Bob O'Brien, "If You Lead Consumers to Low-Calorie Restaurant Foods Will They Eat It?", NPD Blog, September 14, 2012, © NPD
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