Many chains, including Starbucks, Panera and McDonald's, have already begun posting nutritional information on their menus, well ahead of the Affordable Care Act's mandate to do so next year.
Technomic conducted a survey of restaurant consumer attitudes and found that 65 percent favor such labeling in restaurants, with the strongest demand for listing of calories and sodium content.
Moreover, 70 percent of consumers say they care that chain restaurants disclose calorie and other nutritional information on their menus and 68 percent want nutritional information on all restaurant menus, not just chains. About the same percentage claim that having this information is helpful in making ordering decisions and believe it has a positive impact on consumer health and nutrition.
While only 38 percent want local, state and/or federal government to play a more active role in regulating health and nutrition in restaurants, 58 percent expect governments will become more active.
Also, in a related study of New York City restaurant user sentiment toward the recent ban on foodservice sales of large size servings of sugary drinks, Technomic data reveal 51 percent support the ban.
Bob Goldin, Technomic's executive vice president and director of the referenced study, believes these results show that consumers are increasingly demanding more transparency from restaurants.
"Consumers believe that more readily available information will help them make more informed choices when eating out. As a consequence, we expect restaurants will face growing pressure for more comprehensive nutritional disclosure," he added.
Read more about nutritional information.