‘Healthwise’ raises awareness for Sodexo’s customers
Sodexo provides more than one million meals every day in the UK and Ireland. It has a clear commitment to create an environment that supports and encourages people to make informed, balanced choices that will enable their consumers to live healthier lives. ‘Healthwise’ is the company’s nutrition, well-being and lifestyle philosophy.
Since its inception in 1985 it remains at the heart of Sodexo’s business in raising awareness of nutrition and the benefits of a healthy, balanced and varied diet.
As part of healthier staff restaurants, Healthwise already demonstrates examples of good practice by ensuring that healthier foods and beverages are available, fruit and vegetables are promoted via the government’s recommended five-a-day scheme, chefs work in collaboration with dieticians to reduce the levels of fat, salt and sugar in recipes, salad items are generally undressed and healthier cooking practices are in place. Sodexo was one of the early adopters of the calorie labelling pilot scheme originally initiated by the Food Standards Agency in 2009. It has since continued to display calorie information across a number of its sites, even prior to the announcement of the Public Health Responsibility Deal.
Since the government’s announcement, the company has further rolled out calorie labelling to some of its other sites, supported with consumer-facing healthy eating messages and nutrition information to help consumers make an informed choice.
In addition to calorie information, some sites have gone further to inform consumers on the levels of fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar and their contribution to an individual’s daily nutritional requirements by displaying guideline daily amounts (GDAs). Calorie-labelling and GDAs have been welcomed by
Sodexo’s clients and consumers but as yet there is no evidence this has had an effect on consumer behaviour.
A plan is now in place to further roll out calorie/GDA information across the business to even more sites by 1st September.
In summer 2009, Sodexo launched Nutrition Champions across the business. These are specially trained to assist in cascading nutrition and health messages and promotions by working alongside dietitians. This further enhances the Healthwise philosophy.
Sodexo also continues to work and influence its suppliers to reduce levels of salt, sugar and fat within the product range.