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Nutrition facts in restaurants

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  • Nutrition labelling in restaurants (concept)
    How healthy is that delicious looking cake?
  • United Kingdom has the highest percentage of consumers that regularly use nutrition information when choosing what to eat. The plan of Food Standards Agency (FSA) was to introduce nutrition information in catering outlets to provide consumers with consistent nutrition information when they are eating out.

    The labelling scheme has be designed to work in extremely small sizes, it has to be as simple and straightforward as possible and based on a well received system, the Traffic lights colour coding scheme. Nutrition information should be made available at the point of decision so that it could be taken into account when making a choice: on the menu board behind the counter, on packaging for self selected pre-packaged products, on the menu in a 'sit down' venue and on the corresponding web pages.

    - - -
    MA project at the University of Reading, Department of Typography and Graphic Communication 
    (MA Information design) / Mentor Rob Waller (2009).
  • Basis
  • Deriving the proposal from a well received system found in the british shops, the Traffic Lights system, allows the users to relate the information to something they are already familiar with.
    red / high values (for treat only)
    amber / medium (be careful)
    green / low (enjoy in abundance)
  • Proposal
  • Values of four nutrients are depicted as high, medium or lowIn order for colour deficient consumers to be able to read the label, the lengths change accordingly (red arrow is always long, green is short). The system is thus also suitable for monochrome printing.

    Unhealthy meals are easily spotted as the nutrition label resembles a cross when all nutrients' values are high.

    The system can be applied to any dark or coloured background as long as it provides sufficient contrast for reading. In order for the nutrition information to be as small as possible, the nutrients' names are written in the legend at the bottom of the page, explaining how to read the label.
  • Three sizes fit all 
  • The system has three sizes (small, medium and large), adapted for specific situation of reading and available space:
    large: enough space (e.g. packaging)
    medium: standard space (fast food restaurant's menu board)
    small: limited space (menu in sit-down venue)
  • The system in use
  • The system can be applied to any packaging, menu board or printed menu.