Malaysians get serious about nutrition
Malaysia - A recent online Nielsen survey on food-labelling trends showed three in five, or 61% pf Malaysians, agree fast-food restaurants should display nutritional information on its menu. .
The survey included more than 25,000 consumers in 56 countries. Luca Griseri, head of customised research at Nielsen Malaysia, said based on trends, the market for products promoting health benefits is poised to grow and worth exploring.
The study, which also touched on food benefits, showed that 40% of Malaysians regularly buy products containing soy, with whole grain, high-fiber products coming second with 37% of regular buyers. Thirty-three percent buy bread with added calcium or other vitamins regularly, followed closely by yogurts with added nutrition, bought by 32% of respondents.
"Producers or manufacturers who can create some pull factor either via social media or other platforms may be able to convert the big group of consumers into regular buyers," Griseri added, referring to health-promoting foods.
A+M contacted fast food chain McDonald's in Malaysia for its take on the study and a company spokesperson said it had been actively promoting its ‘Balanced Active Lifestyle' campaign, which iincludes providing nutritional information of its products.
"McDonald's is the first quick service restaurant chain in Malaysia to display nutrition information on its packaging," the spokesperson said.
"By providing nutrition information, we help customers make informed decisions about their food choices and allow them to plan their daily diet, as well as that of their families. Apart from product packaging, nutrition information is also available on our website and traymats."
Fanny Chai, regional marketing manager for Nando's, which positions itself as a casual dining restaurant, told A+M that although the brand has not received much requests from its customers to provide calories count and nutritional information, it was something they would consider implementing if there is an increasing demand.
"Our aim is always to serve our customers with fresh, natural, and healthier option of good food. When introducing any new product, these three criteria will always be considered," Chai added.
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