There are predictable lunchers and adventurous lunchers. Their habits are studied at the Restaurant of the Future.
The predictable luncher eats the same thing every day. For the confirmed soup fan no lunch is complete without a bowl of vegetables and meat cooked to a pulp. The adventurous luncher, on the other hand, goes for variety. Chubbier lunchers keep their BMI up by going for less variety and for the fattier foods. And on Fridays men often treat themselves to a greasy savoury snack, while women indulge in a calorific dessert. A reward for a hard week’s toil at Wageningen UR.
De Wijk discovered that whether people always bought the same food depended a lot on the item. ‘There’s more chance with a snack than with a soup that you’ll see somebody pick it one day but not the next’, he explains. So if people choose soup, there’s a good chance they do so often, whereas there’s much less ‘loyalty’ to snacks.
De Wijk wonders why one third of his subjects systematically choose the same lunch every time. ‘Maybe these people are not interested in food?’ he suggests. He thinks it could be difficult to influence the behaviour of this group of people. ‘Pity’, he says, ‘because we could tackle poor eating habits and the weight problems they cause by influencing food choices'. /HW