Employee questionnaire results
757 employees responded to the second questionnaire, more than in 2009. The breakdown of employee weight was identical to the 2009 results. 58% declared being of normal weight, 31% overweight and 9% obese. 20% of the respondents perceived their diet to be healthy and 64% claimed to eat rather healthily. Only 6% either eat rather unhealthily, unhealthily or don’t think about the healthfulness of what they eat.
24% of respondents were aware of the FOOD project out of which 4% were familiar with its contents. Most were acquainted with the project through the Ticket Restaurant booklet advertising.
‘Various foods in moderate amount, in a nice environment’ was for the majority of employees the best definition for balanced food. This is different to the 2009 result were most people chose ‘eating pleasant food while protecting your health’. This was now chosen by only 35.7% of respondents. There is a shift toward acknowledging that balanced food should be varied and that the environment in which it is eaten is also important. It is positive and confirms the fact that Spanish employees are concerned with the healthfulness of their diet.
The majority of respondents have had a lunch break every day (or almost every day) during the working week (74%), yet the number has gone down compared to the 2009 results with more respondents having a break less frequently or never.
88% of respondents, who had a lunch break, had it in at least one type of restaurant, the highest result out of the six countries. For those not eating out the main reason remained preferring home cooked food. Restaurants offering energy dense foods or not catering to specific dietary requirements were the other two reasons mentioned.
When choosing where to eat, offer of varied meals was now the most important determinant, followed by proximity to the workplace and offer of a quick service. The price and affordability of the meal was only rated 6th by the respondents.
The biggest factor in this survey when choosing what to eat at lunchtime was the balance of the dish (chosen by 67%, compared with only 22% in 2009). Only 39% of respondents now chose ‘What I want at that present time’. This indicates a positive trend toward awareness of nutritional issues.
In the last year, 35% of respondents claimed to have made some changes to their diet. Another 21% were considering making changes and 21% more claimed to already be eating according to the recommendations.
In order to promote the FOOD project with Ticket Restaurant users Edenred Spain placed various advertisements in the Ticket Restaurant booklets which were distributed among approx. 170,000 users in Spain. These detailed the recommendations and the FOOD webpage. As a result Spain noted a large increase in the visits to the Spanish part of the main FOOD webpage.
Restaurant questionnaire results
61 restaurants in Spain responded to the second questionnaire, the largest number out of the six countries. Spain is the only country in which a majority of restaurants do not offer a daily lunch menu (59%), unlike the 2009 result.
Regarding the knowledge of balanced food, 21% respondents claimed to have good knowledge. 53% would have liked more information and 75% were willing to learn more. Only 5% of respondents were not interested to learn more with lack of time and budget given as the main reasons.
13% of respondents have seen the FOOD logo before but only 7% were aware of the project’s contents. The restaurant owners who were familiar with the project displayed a good understanding of the recommendations.
Approximately 65% of respondents have either made changes based on nutritional recommendations in the past 12 months or were considering making changes. The most frequently mentioned reason for not applying the recommendations were either the perception that the offer already complied with them or that the restaurateurs have not thought about applying them. Despite the fact that there has been a slight increase in the demand for healthier dishes, smaller portion sizes and nutritional information by customers, the majority of restaurants have not acknowledged this change.
The positive trend observed in the first survey regarding employee attitude toward healthy food is also evident in the second survey. Despite the fact that less employees have the time to have a lunch break each day, the majority who eat out now choose the restaurant based on the food on offer. This was also evident by the fact that for most employees, balanced food is connected to the variety of food offered, its quantity and where it is to be consumed.
From the restaurant survey results, it seems that restaurants are less concerned with health issues. The majority do not offer a special menu at lunchtime or have noticed an increase in the demand for balanced food. Positively however, more than half of them had either made or were considering making changes to the food they offer in line with the recommendations.