Questionnaires inspired from the 2009 and 2010 surveys, called the FOOD barometers, are launched every year since 2012 to monitor on the evolution of the habits and opinions of both target groups about balanced nutrition.
Portugal launched its first FOOD barometers in 2015. Due to a low number of answers in 2015, the results of the restaurants were not taken into account in this analysis.
In 2016, 82% of Portuguese employees had lunch on a daily basis. This figure has remained quite constant in comparison with 2015. It was higher than the European average, which was of 71% in 2016.
In 2016, Portuguese workers usually ate home-made food (55%) or a dish/a complete meal (23%). These figures remained stable in comparison with 2015.
When choosing a restaurant, in 2016, Portuguese workers considered important or very important practical criteria linked to working life constraints such as the service, which had to be quick (90%) and the location of the restaurant, which had to be close to their workplace (85%). The food served had to be affordable/cheap (95%), the surrounding environment had to be pleasant (87%), tap water had to be served free of charge (75%) and the restaurant had to serve locally produced and/or seasonal food (65%).
83% of Portuguese employees considered important or very important the nutritional quality of the meals served when choosing a place to have lunch at. It was higher than the European average, which was of 77%. This figure has slightly increased since 2015.
In 2016, Portuguese employees chose what they were going to have at lunch mainly according to the price (53%) and to the balance of the dish (52%). What they want at the present time matters much less (36%), which is a main difference with the other FOOD programme countries.
Portuguese employees give a real importance to the balance of the dish when selecting what they will have at lunch. This share has slightly decreased since 2015 but remains very significant and above the European average.
In 2016, 52% of Portuguese restaurants declared having a low level of knowledge about balanced nutrition and that they should learn more. This shows that Portuguese restaurants are open to knowing more about balanced nutrition.
In 2016, 73% of Portuguese restaurants declared noticing an increased demand for balanced/healthy meals. It is twice as much as the European average (36%). It shows that Portuguese restaurants are well aware of the increasing demand for healthy meal options that was noticed on the employees’ side.
Restaurants in Portugal had rather positive opinions about balanced nutrition even though a significant share of them were neutral about the following statements. 49% of them disagreed or strongly disagree that it was more expensive, 46% that it took more time and 45% that it was more difficult to cook healthy/balanced meals.
The share of restaurants agreeing or strongly agreeing with the negative statements about preparing healthy meals have decreased since 2015, showing that Portuguese restaurants tend to have a more and more postivie opinion about balanced nutrition.
The connection between the Offer and the Demand for balanced food offer is very good in Portugal. Portuguese employees give a great importance to the balance of their dish at lunch time. It is widely reflected into the restaurants’ side as more than 70% of them notice an increased demand for balanced meals. Even though a high share of them were neutral on the statements about healthy cooking, figures show that Portuguese restaurants have however a growing positive opinion about preparing healthy meals.