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Harvester calorie consumption decrease

Harvester calorie consumption decrease

Since introducing calorie labelling on its menu in March 2011, leading restaurant brand, Harvester has seen average calorie consumption decrease by around 25 calories per person. Harvester, which serves around 25 million meals each year across 181 outlets, was the first UK-wide restaurant brand to print dish-by-dish calorie information on menus, providing choice and flexibility for guests.

Just six months on, Harvester believe this choice has lead to a 25 calorie or 2% reduction in people's average calorie consumption as a result of a slight shift by customers from red meat dishes into white meat and fish, and changes in dessert choices.

Adam Martin, marketing and strategy director said "It's early days and there are many factors at work here however it appears that there has been a small, but discernable change in behaviour by our guests. Our menu gives customers the flexibility to choose a meal that's tailored to their taste and calorie preference. Customers have been using this choice by opting for slightly lower calorie side dishes, for example by swapping fries for mash or new potatoes."

"Now, as a number of leading companies like McDonald's follow suit and introduce calories on their menus, it will be interesting to see if other chains see similar results?"

Alex Meyer, senior marketing manager for Harvester, added: "It was a big decision to become the first UK-wide restaurant brand to print calorie information on menus, but we felt that the time was right for Harvester. We were particularly pleased with the response from our customers, showing overwhelming support for the introduction of calories. Following the launch, on Facebook more than two thirds of people were supportive of calorie labelling on our menus."

The Harvester Salad & Grill menu provides choice and flexibility for guests. The menu has over 1,500 combinations available, allowing customers to choose a meal appropriate to their taste, eating-out occasion or personal calorie preference. Harvester customers now have three clear ways to access calorie information; online, via a smart phone and on menus in restaurants.

Notes to editors:

  • Harvester first opened in Morden in 1983 and has grown to 181 UK-wide restaurants.
  • The brand serves around 25 million meals to customers each year.
  • In 2009, Harvester, along with 17 of the UK's leading restaurant brands, took part in a calorie-focused menu labelling trial led by the Food Standards Agency.
  • Harvester is a signatory of the Government Responsibility Deal calorie labelling pledge.
  • The Harvester calorie counter is available at http://nutrition.harvester.co.uk/nutrition/.
  • Harvester harvester.co.uk is owned and operated by Mitchells & Butlers mbplc.com.
  • Supporting photography can be downloaded at www.mbplc.com/imagelibrary.

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