The seesaw is tipping towards “WOW” foods and away from “WORTHY” foods

>>By Simon Stenning, executive director, Allegra Foodservice

Allegra Foodservice’s annual Eating Out in the UK report revealed that the seesaw is tipping towards “wow foods” and away from “worthy foods”, with taste outweighing health for 58% of consumers. The study goes on to show a 20% fall in the number of consumers who prefer to visit eating out establishments with a decent choice of healthier eating options – the growth in indulgent-led food concepts and a desire to rebel against increasing pressures to eat healthy is contributing to this change. 

Consumers are not dissuaded from buying a meal if the calorie count is high as only 29% of consumers are impacted by calorie counts compared with 40% last year. Allegra believes that the extensive messages about healthy eating have overwhelmed consumers and left them unable to keep abreast of the latest nutritional advice, which has led to a fall in healthier eating.

Most consumers perceive eating out as a treat and do not want to be aware

of the number of calories they are consuming.  Instead, ingredients have become more important to consumers in determining whether a meal is healthy compared with last year – 48% of consumers use ingredients as an indicator compared with 31% last year. 

Therefore, it is advised to develop menu descriptions that provide lots of ingredient information, and that deliver the “wow” effect. Healthier eating has not disappeared completely, but consumers are managing the debit/credit approach better as their cravings for “wow”foods increases.