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Do labels influence purchase decisions of food products? Study of young consumers of an emerging market

Niraj Kumar (Rural Management, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, India)
Sanjeev Kapoor (Centre of Food and Agri-Business Management, India Institute of Management, Lucknow, India)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 6 February 2017




The purpose of this paper is to study the usage and influence of food labels by the young consumers of an emerging market where food labeling regulation is comparatively recent phenomenon.


A purposely developed questionnaire was administered to 300 randomly selected youths of age between 18 and 30 years. The first part of the questionnaire sought information on socio-demographic profile, whereas the second part of the questionnaire had questions related to consumers’ perception of importance, their reading behavior, and their responses on the information content of food labels. Appropriate statistical tools were used to analyze the data.


Results revealed that young Indian consumers attached considerable importance to the food labels and read it before making a final purchase decision. In addition to price, all the product attributes which had implications for the consumers’ health were considered as extremely important by the young consumers. Information regarding different important product attributes can be broadly clubbed in two categories, namely, “product specification” and “product quality.” The final decision to purchase a product based on the food labels varied significantly based on the consumers’ gender, age, food habit, and residential locality.

Research limitations/implications

Nature of study does not allow drawing a conclusion regarding the causal relationship between food labels and consumers’ purchase decisions.


As labeling regulation is a comparatively recent phenomenon in India, study of the usage and influence of food labels on young consumers’ purchase decision, a hitherto not much-studied subject, will contribute significantly to the literature on food labels.



Kumar, N. and Kapoor, S. (2017), "Do labels influence purchase decisions of food products? Study of young consumers of an emerging market", British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 2, pp. 218-229.



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