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Majority of adults in UK rate price and taste over nutrition
05 Feb 2009

turkey breast and ham 6" subWith an obesity epidemic spreading throughout the UK, research from leading market research agency, Ipsos MORI and commissioned by the SUBWAY® chain, has revealed that, although the nation is knowledgeable about the health impacts of high fat in their diet, including high cholesterol [87%], obesity [91%] and increased risk of heart disease [83%], they are failing to take heed, with:

  • 41% of those aged between 16 and 64, who purchase lunch from high street retailers that sell food, admitting to never reading nutritional information provided by the retailer
  • 27% of adults aged between 16 and 64 not finding it easy to find fresh, healthy food on high street
  • only 8% of adults aged between 16 and 64 say that they exercise at moderate intensity for 30 minutes or more, on more than 5 occasions in any one week.

The study polled more than 1000 people between the ages of 16 and 64 in England, Wales, Scotland and NI to look at their lifestyles and eating habits plus what bore most relevance when making eating choices on the high street.

The study found that 64% of adults aged 16 to 64 buy food from the high street at least once a week, yet a staggering 41% of these people do not read or look for nutritional information such as fat and salt content.

When making food choices, 41% of adults aged between 16 and 64 rate ingredients, i.e. taste, as most important and 37% rate the price of the product as most important. Just 12% rate nutritional information as most important, indicative of an overall lack in concern for nutritional information when purchasing food from high street retailers.

The research showed that people tend to opt for supermarkets to find healthy eating options with 24% of people stating Marks and Spencer as offering a good choice of healthy options and, of those listed, the SUBWAY® chain was rated as the best amongst the QSRs (quick service restaurants) for a choice of healthy options. The SUBWAY® chain offers a range of eight 'Low Fat' subs along with a choice of five breads including wholewheat, for those wanting a lower fat, lower calorie option.

SUBWAY® Nutritionist Juliette Kellow said: "Obesity is an epidemic and the unappealing and limiting range of healthy choices in popular fast food restaurants only exacerbates the problem. Food chains can make it easier to eat healthily by displaying clear nutritional information at the point of order, so that customers can make an informed choice about what they are buying."

Last year, the SUBWAY® chain introduced nutritional information at the point of order and is rolling this out across all its 1400 stores in the UK and Ireland. The SUBWAY® chain has also begun actively looking for a partner to help deliver health messaging, not only to the public but within its workforce.

The innovative labeling introduced by the SUBWAY® chain is already providing customers with not only calorific content but other key nutritional measures: sugar, salt, fat and saturated fat of the core product range per serving, including all Subs and salads.

The SUBWAY® chain has developed a series of health commitments which are published on the Food Standards Agency website. As part of these commitments, the company is looking at ways of improving health further across its range of foods. The SUBWAY® chain has already made a move to help customers make an informed choice by not compromising on taste with its affordable and healthy low fat options, which are low in both fats and saturates.

Other poignant findings revealed that 42% of adults aged between 16 and 64 rate health as the most important attribute in life, yet the study suggests that this is an area of lower importance when it comes to food purchased on the high street.

The SUBWAY® chain prides itself on being able to offer customers great tasting Sub sandwiches, made just the way they want, fresh in front of them. Since its introduction in the UK, SUBWAY® has also offered a wide variety of fresh salad ingredients. Customers get one serving of their 5-A-Day if they have all the salad in their Sub.

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