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Consumer use of nutrition labels

Angela Shine (Previously a Postgraduate Researcher, University College, Cork, Ireland)
Seamus O’Reilly (Lecturer in the Department of Food Economics, University College, Cork, Ireland)
Kathleen O’Sullivan (Lecturer in the Department of Statistics, University College, Cork, Ireland)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 September 1997



Increasing consumer interest in nutrition has led to an increased interest in nutrition labelling. Finds that over half (58 per cent) of the sample surveyed read nutrition labels. Nutrition labelling was found to have an impact on consumer purchase decisions. Of those consumers who read nutritional labels, 81 per cent use them in their evaluation of food products. Consumers have to deduce information from nutrition labels in their current format. Survey findings reinforce previous work carried out in this area, particularly in the context of consumer categorization of food products as “good” or “bad”. For example, consumer avoidance of “negative” nutrients is apparent throughout the survey. The majority of respondents, who read labels, indicated that they search out information on nutrients they wish to avoid. In general, since time allocated to shopping for food products is limited, the format of nutritional labelling needs further consideration and improvement. The concept of nutrition should be incorporated into food companies’ marketing strategy.



Shine, A., O’Reilly, S. and O’Sullivan, K. (1997), "Consumer use of nutrition labels", British Food Journal, Vol. 99 No. 8, pp. 290-296.




Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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