- Author: MenuSano Team
- Published: 10/15/2018 11:03:28 AM
In previous articles, we've proved that displaying your nutritional information boosts your sales and grows your business by building trust and extending your customer base.
But what is nutritional analysis, exactly? In this short article, we explain nutritional analysis in a little more depth. We also explain how you can get started implementing nutritional analysis and start growing your business, today.
So what is Nutritional Analysis?
In today’s world consumers want to make informed choices about the food they eat. They want to know more than if the food tastes good and how much it costs. They want to know what the food is made up of so they can follow a diet that is suitable for themselves as an individual.
"Nutrition analysis is the process of determining the nutritional content of foods and food products"
Typically nutritional analysis is displayed in tabulation form for ease-of-reading. In Canada, the nutritional information displayed includes 13 key elements including energy (measured in calories), macronutrients, and micronutrients.
Macronutrients, required by the body are protein, fat, and carbohydrate and provide energy. Micronutrients are typically vitamins and minerals that the body also needs.
Canadian Nutritional Information looks similar to the example below:
For more detailed information then click here but a quick rundown is given below.
- The total amount of fat is displayed, information is also included as to how much-saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol is contained.
- Carbohydrate is listed and the amount of sugar is detailed as part of this total amount.
- Protein is listed separately as a macronutrient. The fiber amount and sodium are also contained within the table as these are key factors for health.
- The micronutrients typically listed on Canadian nutritional information includes vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
The amounts are given as total amounts per serving size (either in grams or milligrams) and as a percentage of the daily recommended amounts (%DV). This %DV is based on typical requirements as per a diet that requires 2000 calories per day. Therefore, they are very much an overall calculation and should be taken as a rough estimate, only. Use %DV as a guide only and be aware that your individual needs are just that -- individual
For example, young children are much smaller than adults so they require less energy. Bear in mind, they require different amounts of both macro and micronutrients, proportionally as they are growing. Typically, women may require more iron, but less energy, as in general they are smaller than men. And obviously, active people require more energy to function than those that are less active. It’s best to aim to meet or exceed your daily recommended values of vitamins and minerals. More fruit and vegetables than recommended is unlikely to harm anyone (unless you are underweight or have a health condition that negatively responds to fiber, such as IBS). But also be aware that if you are any or all of the following: inactive, elderly, female or have a relatively low body weight, you probably won’t need 2000 calories per day. Nor will you require the recommended amount of protein, carbohydrate or fat.
Nutritional Analysis and the Law
It’s not absolutely necessary for all food businesses to provide nutritional information. Check out this super quick guide to see how the Law affects your business.
- If you are producing packaged food, then by law you must provide nutritional information.
- You don’t need to carry nutrition information if you are a butcher or grocery selling ingredients such as fresh vegetables and fruit, raw meat and poultry, and raw seafood.
- If you produce servings of food that are intended to be eaten immediately, such as, salads in a deli or cakes in a bakery; then you don’t need to provide nutritional information by law. But be aware that you will boost sales if you do provide information.
- You also don’t need to provide nutritional information if you are making food for craft shows, flea markets, fairs, and stalls, etc.
- Restaurants and food service businesses also do not need to provide a nutrition facts table with their products. However, if you checked out our suggested articles you will know that including nutritional analysis is a proven sales boost.
- If you want to make a claim about your food to further boost sales of your healthy food, such as low in fat or a source of fiber, then check out the guidelines for making those claims in more detail in this Canadian Food Inspection Agency article.
How do Consumers use Nutrition Information?
Don’t be concerned that consumers will turn away from your food given information that it’s not the lightest or healthiest option. They just want to know! They can enjoy your cheeseburger and make a more sensible choice later that day, should they wish. Consumers use nutrition fact tables for several reasons:
- They want to know what nutrients are in your product, in particular, calories and fat to maintain a healthy weight.
- They want to compare which of your products are better suited for themselves. High energy foods are often better suited to very active people who might not have a huge appetite.
- People use the information so they can better manage health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Before Nutritional Software
Prior to software being available nutritional analysis was only available by sending food to a laboratory to ascertain the nutritional analysis of the food. Typically, one single dish sent to a laboratory would cost up to $800 making nutritional analysis by this method, only viable for chain restaurants and larger manufacturers.
Nutritional Software Analysis
Today’s market means that consumers want pre-made and produced food but they also demand information. With nutritional software, such as, that offered by MenuSano, Canadian food businesses, whatever their size can produce accurate nutritional information in keeping with your consumer's needs and desires.
How MenuSano Works
The Menusano database contains almost 13,000 ingredients. This information has been gathered by Health Canada and is extremely comprehensive. It covers pretty much anything and everything eaten in the Canadian diet. Fortunately, information has already been collected and accurately curated so that laboratory analysis is no longer needed.
Not only is MenuSano a far more affordable solution it’s also a more accurate approach to calculating the nutritional facts. Naturally occurring food varies in nutritional composition so these pre-recorded values give more accurate mean information. For example, a dish prepared in June will probably have different nutritional content than the same dish prepared in December when the nutritional content of the fresh produce will naturally vary.
To use MenuSano it’s simply a case of tapping in your recipe ingredients and amounts. The software will instantly produce an accurate readout of your dish in terms of nutritional analysis in a readable table that consumers are familiar with.
How To Get Started
There are three ways to get started with MenuSano perfect for any food business.
For smaller businesses, a basic package is suitable which costs from just $25 per month, when paid for annually. For larger businesses and restaurants with multiple locations, you can purchase a package that has unlimited nutritional labels and recipe creation. All this for just $42 when paid for annually. Both packages come with cloud storage and are secure. If you would like to learn more, then check out How Nutritional Analysis will boost your restaurant sales or click here if you're in the bakery business.
Alternatively, you can get help for a few dishes if you don’t have time. Just send in the recipes for five dishes and we'll input the data for you and send back your nutritional information tables.
Try It For Free!
Why not try out nutrition analysis software MenuSano for free? There is no need to add your credit card details and you can see exactly for yourself how easy it is to start using MenuSano, today.