More pub menus give meat top billing

Results from a nationwide survey of the menus in multiple chain restaurants and pubs have revealed a significant increase in the number of dishes which feature red meat.

The research shows that nearly a quarter (23%) of all new dishes on the menu include red meat and among main course proteins, beef has the largest share of new dish listings with 26 per cent.

Foodservice trade manager for the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC), Tony Goodger, said he was delighted with the vote of confidence branded chain operators were showing in red meat. But, he said, there was room for more pork dishes particularly as other independent research revealed that 84 per cent of consumers would order pork dishes when eating out at restaurants or pubs, he said. The survey also indicated a continued rise in popularity of sausages, with 'sausage and mash' regularly featuring in the top five most frequently listed main courses (excluding burgers and pizzas). This supported earlier research which shows that sausages now rate among the nation's favourite foods to order in pubs and restaurants.

"We would urge branded chain operators to label the origin of meat used in their dishes, whether it be British beef or New Zealand lamb. Consistently, independent research reveals that up to 80 per cent of respondents would like to see the origin of meat included within the description of dishes on the menu and indications are that this demand will continue to increase," said Mr Goodger.