How we promote healthy diet and lifestyles
One way in which we aim to encourage behaviour change is through the creation of engaging campaigns that educate and identify how individuals can exercise a positive choice in their lifestyle. Unilever’s Five Levers for Change informs our approach. This practical tool is a coherent set of principles, designed to increase the effectiveness of our behaviour change interventions. It brings together our experience over many years.
Behaviour change for better health symposium
Creating a sustainable future will require fundamental changes in attitudes and behaviours across society. Governments and industry will have to change, but so too will individual citizens. In acknowledgement of this challenge, public health and behaviour change experts joined Unilever scientists, technologists, marketers and management at the ‘Behaviour Change for Better Health’ symposium in June 2012. Together, they discussed how to encourage consumers to make positive changes in nutrition, hygiene and sustainability.
Seductive nutrition: research
In 2012, Unilever Food Solutions carried out extensive research into global eating-out-of-home trends. Now in its third year, our World Menu Report finds that two in three (66%) of the 5,000 people surveyed said they will seek the healthier option on a menu, even if they don’t end up choosing it. On the flip side, seven in ten (71%) agree that they prefer to treat themselves when eating out. This reveals the difficulty of turning good intentions into action.
Further findings from the World Menu Report suggest a lack of consumer knowledge a so-called “Nutritional Knowledge Gap” around some recommended nutritional allowances. At least three-quarters of respondents were unable to name the recommended daily allowance of fat. In addition, the research shows us that healthier options are frequently perceived as being smaller (45%), more expensive (57%) or less tasty (43%).
In the absence of any major push from consumers for healthier options, our conclusion is that foodservice operators should seek to make small changes to their top-selling dishes to make them healthier rather than introduce new, healthier offerings.
People enjoy healthy eating at home. Our research shows they would like healthier options when they eat out too. Our professional catering business, Unilever Food Solutions, is working with restaurant operators around the world to make their menus more nutritious with the help of our products.
Working with food experts and industry specific bodies, our Seductive Nutrition programme provides recipe ideas and advice for creating nutritious and delicious meals, especially for top-selling dishes.
Under the programme in the US, over 5,000 operators pledged to remove more than 450 million calories from their menus in 2012.
The campaign is already active in 17 countries worldwide. It will enable restaurateurs to tap into consumer demand and increase revenues, while also contributing to public health.
Improving heart health
Education plays an important part in raising awareness of cardiovascular disease. In 2009, Unilever and the World Heart Federation launched Heart Age, an online tool that uses diet and lifestyle factors such as weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking to estimate heart health. A heart age higher than a person’s actual age can be a powerful spur to action and the tool offers users a free three-month diet and lifestyle plan.
Targets & performance