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The EU health claims regulation: implications for innovation in the EU food sector

Sukhada Khedkar (Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany)
Stefano Ciliberti (Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy)
Stefanie Bröring (Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 7 November 2016

635

Abstract

Purpose

One of the objectives of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 (NHCR) is protection and promotion of innovation in the food industry. The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of the NHCR on both innovation and the sourcing of external knowledge in the European Union (EU) food sector.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was conducted which resulted in a sample of 105 EU companies for the study. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the nature of relationships that existed among the challenges related to the implementation of the NHCR, external sources of knowledge and innovation.

Findings

Challenges related to the NHCR are currently found to have a negative direct impact on product innovation. However, they have a positive indirect effect on product innovation, especially in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises. They also seem to positively affect external knowledge sourcing. Additionally, sources of external knowledge are found to have a positive effect on product and process innovations.

Practical implications

This study provides insights to different stakeholders in the food industry who might wish to work jointly and address the various issues related to the requirements of the NHCR and facilitate compliance with the regulation.

Originality/value

Understanding the impact of the NHCR on innovation seems pivotal because innovation plays an important role in the EU food sector. To this purpose, the paper delivers insights into some main compliance challenges and their effect on innovation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the University of Bonn and University of Perugia for providing funding for the study. The authors thank Dr Chad Baum for his valuable comments on the earlier drafts of this paper. Moreover, the authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Citation

Khedkar, S., Ciliberti, S. and Bröring, S. (2016), "The EU health claims regulation: implications for innovation in the EU food sector", British Food Journal, Vol. 118 No. 11, pp. 2647-2665. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-01-2016-0021

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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