A Menu of Good Intentions: How Consumer Awareness and Attitudes Toward Key Ingredients Translate into Action When Dining Out

A study conducted by NPD Group indicates half of consumers have consciously tried to minimize or eliminate their use of a food, beverage or food ingredient when dining out at casual/family restaurants in the past six months. In fact, fats/oils (42 percent), sodium (41 percent) and fried foods (40 percent) top the list of diners’ concerns. However, these concerns, particularly regarding sweeteners, have little influence on a diner’s choice of restaurant and menu item.*

This white paper explores these four areas:

  • Details on consumer awareness and attitudes toward key foods/beverages/ingredients
  • Consumer sources for information about food and food ingredients
  • Consumer perceptions of health and nutrition at restaurants
  • The degree to which ingredient concerns influence restaurant visitation

For the latest independent research on HFCS and other caloric sweeteners, go to CornNaturally.com.


Dr. Aron Levin, owner of Levin & Associates Marketing Research, and associate professor of marketing, has been a faculty member at Northern Kentucky University since 2000 and is director of NKU’s Marketing Research Partnership Program (MRP2), a unique collaboration of faculty, students and marketing research professionals. Dr. Levin received his Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Kentucky, his M.B.A. from Northern Illinois University, and a B.A. in communications from the University of Iowa. He has published numerous articles in academic and trade publications such as the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of International Consumer Behavior, and Quirk’s Marketing Research Review.

*Materials for this white paper are derived from a custom study conducted by the NPD Group and commissioned by the Corn Refiners Association.

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