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Repubblica Ceca

Two sets of questionnaires inspired from the 2009 and 2010 surveys, called the FOOD barometers, have been launched every year since 2012 to monitor the evolution of the habits and opinions of both target groups (employees and restaurants) about balanced nutrition.

Employees

In 2016, 73% of Czech employees had lunch on a daily basis. This figure has greatly risen over the years as there were only 54% of them having a lunch break every day in 2012.

In 2016, Czech employees usually had dish/a complete meal (55%) or home-made food (35%) for lunch. These figures have been quite constant over the 5 years the FOOD barometers were launched, with however a slight increase in the consumption of comlpete meals over the years.

When choosing a restaurant, in 2016, Czech workers considered important or very important practical criteria linked to working life constraints such as a quick service (85%) and the location of the restaurant, which should be close to their workplace (76%). Also, it was important or very important that the environment was pleasant (80%) and that the restaurant served seasonal and/or locally-produced food (55%).

69% of the Czech employees considerd important or very important that the restaurant proposed meals of good nutritional quality. This figure was slightly below the 2016 European average (77%), but still represented a very significant part of the working population. Plus, this share has remained quite constant over the 5 years.

In 2016, almost half of the Czech employees (49%) declared that the balance of the dish affected their decision on what to have at lunch. It was the most chosen criterion, before the quantity of food contained in the plate (47%) and what they wanted at the present time (44%).

2016 was the first year the balance of the dish has been the most chosen criterion to determine what to have for lunch, therefore showing the greater and greater attention Czech employees pay to the balance of their dish at lunchtime.

Restaurants

In 2016, 70% of Czech restaurants declare that they had a low/medium knowledge about balanced nutrition and could/should learn some more. Over the 5 years, we can notice that the share of restaurants declaring that they had a medium level of knowledge and could learn some more has greatly increased, showing a growing interest of Czech restaurants in learning more about balanced nutrition.

In 2016, 18% of Czech restaurants noticed an increased demand for balanced/healthy meals. It is only half of the European average rate (36%). However, this share was slightly higher than in 2012, 2014 and 2015, showing an overall increase of the awareness of the restaurants on a growing demand for healthy food offer over the years.

In 2016, restaurants in the Czech Republic tended to have some prejudices about balanced nutrition especially when it comes to the cost, as 51% of them agreed or strongly agreed that it was more expensive to prepare healthy meals. On the other hand, a significant share of Czech restaurants tended to disagree or strongly disagree with the idea that balanced meals did not taste as good as less healthy options (51%), that preparing healthy/balanced meals was more difficult (45%) and that it took more time to cook healthy/balanced meals (39%). However, these shares have dropped since 2015, therefore reflecting reinforced prejudices about cooking healthy meals. The same trend is visible at European level.

Conclusions

There is a misconnection between the Offer and the Demand sides for healthy food in the Czech Republic. Czech employees give a clear and growing importance to healthy eating whereas the Czech restaurants are not very aware of this growing demand. They tend to have more and more prejudices about balanced food offer. However, we can note a slight increased interest in knowing more about balanced nutrition.