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Edenred designs and develops voucher programmes for companies and public authorities. Its flagship product is the meal voucher (or Ticket Restaurant®) which has been in practice worldwide for more than 50 years and is used by more than 43 million people every day in 42 countries.
Meal vouchers can act as a launch pad for effecting a change of employee food and lifestyle habits. Furthermore, the FOOD project – which became a long-term programme - is in perfect harmony with Edenred’s stated corporate social responsibility goals, of which access to balanced nutrition is a key priority. Edenred is responsible for the coordination of the programme and for the dissemination of the information and results.

Hungarian Scientific Association of Harm reduction and Environmental Diseases

The aim of the association, established in December 2020, is to raise awareness of the many potential harms to our society and to make people aware of their risks - environmental damage (respiratory diseases), harms of civilization (cardiological risks, diabetes, allergies, sedentary lifestyle) – and do against them with its own means, on a scientific and professional basis. Thus, among others, it draws attention to the dangers of traditional smoking, wants to speak out for air quality and takes action against obesity, which is also an endemic in Hungary.

In addition to the founder, Dr. Emil Toldy-Schedel, head of the Association of Church Hospitals, dozens of doctors and other specialists from various disciplines participate in the work of the Association, whose main activity is to introduce the program to scientific circles and to make innovative solutions, harm reduction goals and programs the subject of a professional discussion and discourse.

Members of the board of the Association:

  • Dr. Emil Toldy-Schedel – President of the Association of Church Hospitals
  • Dr. Klára Szondy – pulmonologist, chief clinical physician of the Department of Pulmonology, Semmelweis University
  • Dr. Zsolt Petke – chief physician of addiction of the Nyírő Gyula National Institute of Psychiatry and Addiction
  • Prof. Dr. Zsolt Pécsvárady – internist, chief physician of the Flór Ferenc Hospital of Pest County
  • Prof. Dr. Katalin Nagy – Head of the Department of Oral Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Szeged


Step 1 : Research and knowledge

When the two national partners decided to implement the FOOD programme in the country, both agreed on the necessity for fast action while still maintaining rigorous quality. Making use of the recent national health data, the partners could indeed began the project by defining specific national recommendations and designing a communication strategy aimed at the two main target groups. The local partners used the studies elaborated by the six original pilot countries to then plan the messages and tools.

Step 2 : Recommendations

Recommendations to the employees

  • Pay attention to the quality of the food you eat and make sure you eat smaller portions.
  • Eat at least 5 portions of vegetables or fruit every day.
  • Use whole wheat bread and pasta.
  • Have a meat-free day at least once a week!
  • Try opting for lean cuts of meat more frequently.
  • Eat fish at least once a week.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of liquid a day! 5 of these should be water.
  • Reduce your salt and sugar intake!
  • Cut down on fat consumption and use olive oil more frequently.
  • Choose fresh fruit as a dessert.
  • Don’t rush eating lunch, not even on workdays.

Recommendations to the restaurants

  • Instead of deep fat frying, use healthy kitchen technologies (e.g. sous vide, steaming).
  • Use plant-based oil for cooking and cold-pressed oils or salads (e.g. olive oil).
  • Opt for brown rice, pseudo cereals, steamed vegetables and salads as side dishes.
  • Recommend eating low-fat or fish-based dishes several times a week.
  • Salt dishes in moderation, use herbs for seasoning and avoid using flavour enhancers.
  • Serve whole wheat bread and pasta.
  • Thicken stews and cream soups by pureeing the main ingredients.
  • Make sure to include fresh fruit as a dessert option.
  • Allow choosing dishes in smaller portions.
  • Make sure to recommend meat-free and allergy-free dishes.
  • Place drinking water on the tables.

Criteria to respect in order to be part of the FOOD restaurants’ network:

Following the creation of the FOOD recommendations for restaurants, a network of restaurants respecting a certain number of recommendations was created.
In Hungary, restaurants have to apply 8 out of the 11 recommendations in order to be part of the FOOD restaurants network.
To see the map of the entire network of FOOD restaurants, click here

Step 3: Communication tools

Communication tools

Along the project and programme phase, several communication tools targeting both target groups were created :

  • See the Communication tools for employees, click here
  • See the Communication tools for restaurants, click here

Step 4: Evaluation

The FOOD barometers

Questionnaires inspired from the 2009-2010 surveys conducted during the project phase, 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 food.

The first FOOD Barometers in Hungary were launched 2020.

Step 5: Adaptation and dissemination

The data collected during the evaluation allows the partners to adapt the communication strategy to employees and restaurants’ needs and expectations. This is a continuous improvement of the programme, its messages and communication tools.