Innovation in healthy eating at two Charlton House sites scoops industry award

The innovative approach to championing healthy eating demonstrated by CH&Co Group, Charlton House’s parent company, was recognised and celebrated with the Healthy Hospitality Honours at the Health & Vitality Honours 2016.

The Healthy Hospitality Honours focuses on the unique challenge of encouraging a positive shift in customer eating habits towards healthier options.

The award was for the Social Norms Messaging study, in collaboration with Birmingham University, which identified a new, successful way of influencing customers to eat more vegetables.

Piloted at two Charlton House sites, Gatwick Airport and Sopra Steria in Newport, the study aimed to prove that ‘normalising’ healthier eating with Social Norms Messaging could be more effective than the Government’s 12-year ‘Eat 5-a-day’ programme.

The activity utilised suggestive rather than directive posters that stated ‘Most People Here Eat Vegetables with their Lunch’. This tested the theory that people generally like to ‘blend in’ and follow the crowd, over being told what to do. In the two weeks that the posters were visible in the restaurants uptake of vegetables rose by almost 10%. And, in the following two weeks when the posters were removed, the positive effect continued to be felt.

The team at Birmingham University has written up the full results of the study to be published later in the year.

Caroline Fry, Deputy CEO of CH&Co Group, comments: “We are thrilled to have received the Healthy Hospitality Honours. The Social Norms Messaging study has been fascinating to work on. It just goes to show that creating a healthier eating culture is so much bigger than simply putting healthier dishes on the menu. It’s also about generating long-term customer behaviour change. Our study realised significant results in a short space of time and this has caught the attention of our industry and Government healthy-eating bodies. We very much look forward to using our learnings to create more innovative programmes that will change eating habits across our sites for the better.”

1st February 2016
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