Two sets of questionnaires inspired from the 2009 and 2010 surveys, called the FOOD barometers, have been launched every year since 2012 to monitor the evolution of the habits and opinions of both target groups (employees and restaurants) about balanced nutrition.
In 2016, 69% of Spanish employees had lunch on a daily basis. This figure is very close to the European average, which was of 71%.
In 2016, Spanish employees generally ate a dish/a complete meal (53%) or home-made food (33%). These figures have remained quite constant over the 5 years.
When choosing a restaurant, in 2016, Spanish workers considered important or very important practical criteria linked to working life constraints such as a quick service (94%) and the location of the restaurant, which had to be close to their workplace (91%). The environment had also to be pleasant (84%), the food served had to be affordable/cheap (84%) and the restaurant had to serve locally produced and/or seasonal food (72%).
In 2016, 86% of Spanish employees considered important or very important the nutritional quality of the meals served when choosing a place to have lunch at. It was higher than the European average, which was of 77%. This figure has remained constantly high over the 5 years, with a slight increase over the last years, showing the growing importance of balanced eating among Spanish employees.
In 2016, the balance of the dish was the most chosen criterion taken into account when Spanish workers chose what to have for lunch (66%).
Moreover, this figure remained very high over the years, showing that Spanish employees give a real importance to the balance of their meal at lunch time.
In 2016, 60% of Spanish restaurants declared that they had a medium level of knowledge about balanced nutrition, and that they could learn some more. This figure has been increasing over the years, showing that an increasing share of restaurants are interested in knowing more about balanced nutrition.
In 2016, 68% of Spanish restaurants noticed an increased demand for balanced/healthy meals. This figure has been greatly increasing over the 5 years, therefore reflecting the growing demand for balanced meal options that was noticed on the employees’ side.
In 2016, restaurants in Spain had rather positive opinions about balanced nutrition. 62% disagreed or strongly disagreed that it took more time to cook healthy/balanced meals, and 46% that healthy meals did not taste as good as less healthy options and that preparing healthy/balanced meals was more expensive.
However, between 2015 and 2016, a much less high share of Spanish restaurants disagreed or strongly disagreed with the negative statements about preparing healthy meals, implying that prejudices have reinforced.
The connection between the Offer and the Demand for balanced food offer in Spain is rather good. Spanish employees give a great importance to the balance of their dish and it is reflected to a good extent in the perception of restaurants of their customers. Still, even though Spanish restaurants have positive opinions about healthy cooking, they tend to have stronger prejudices about balanced nutrition than before.