Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 62

OPERATIONS
PORTION
CONTROL
by John Unrein
PORTION VS. SERVING SIZE:
What's the difference?
The International Food
Information Council (IFIC) has
conducted a new survey to gauge
how much consumers know
- and, importantly, whether
they know the difference. The
" Understanding Portion and
Serving Sizes " survey of 1,000
U.S. adults first asked whether
they had an understanding of the
two terms. 91% said they had at
least some understanding about
" serving size, " while 90% said the
same of " portion size. "
Respondents were then given
a list of possible definitions that
included the most accurate
descriptions for both serving size
and portion size and were asked
to pick the two descriptions
that best align with their
understanding. (Serving size is
based on a standardized amount
of a food or beverage that people
typically consume in one sitting,
while portion size is the amount
of food or beverage someone
chooses to eat in one sitting.)
Among those claiming
knowledge of serving sizes, about
half (48%) picked the correct
definition (the amount typically
consumed) and/or thought it
was defined by the company that
created the product (46%). Fewer
(39%) believed that the term was
defined by dietitians and health
professionals, while 33% thought
it was defined by government
agencies like the FDA, and 33%
believed it was the amount one
chooses to consume (i.e., the
portion size).
But out of those claiming at
least some understanding of
portion sizes, the most popular
definition ( " a standardized
amount typically consumed " )
was the same as the serving size
- identical at 48% - indicating
that consumers essentially
conflate the two terms. Slightly
behind, 45% correctly identified
it as the amount one chooses to
consume, which was followed by
" defined by dietitians and health
professionals " (44%).
Defining the difference
Respondents were then shown
complete definitions of both
terms. When asked how their
understanding of portion and
serving sizes had changed
after reading the definitions,
about one-third (34%) said they
understood much more and
nearly another third (30%) said
they understood somewhat more.
These results demonstrate a
significant knowledge gap in the
difference between portion and
serving sizes, despite most people
believing they have a cursory
understanding of the terms.
Consumers who were more
likely to say that they understood
" much more " after reading the
definitions included men (41%,
vs. 27% of women), those earning
$80K+ (47%, vs. 26% earning less
than $40K), those under age 45
(43%, vs. 26% age 45-64 and 25%
age 65+) and those with college
degrees (40%, vs. 28% no college
degree).
By definition, serving sizes are
not explicit recommendations
for how much to eat. And yet,
it appears that most people use
them for that purpose, regardless
of type of food. For example, 57%
try to eat the designated serving
size for dairy products at least
sometimes, while 22% rarely or
never do.
Focusing next on portion
sizes, respondents were asked
about why they pay attention to
them. " Helping to control weight "
ranked in the top two reasons
for 36%, followed by " helping to
avoid eating too much of certain
foods " (30%) and " helping to
know how much they should be
eating or drinking " (26%).
Sizing up the terms
The ways people control their
portion sizes vary: Similar
numbers said they try to eat
more slowly (34%), stop eating
Kerry research shows that consumers in all age groups are interested in food and beverages with functional benefits.
62 - APRIL 2022
supermarketperimeter.com
JOHN UNREIN/SOSLAND PUBLISHING CO., KERRY

Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022

Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - BNJ-1
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - BNJ-2
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 6
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 8
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 9
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 10
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 11
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 12
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 13
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 14
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 15
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 16
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 17
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 18
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 19
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 20
Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 21
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Supermarket Perimeter - April 2022 - 68
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