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Exploring claims and marketing techniques in Brazilian food labels

Rafaela Corrêa Pereira (Department of Agrarian Sciences, Federal Institute of Minas Gerais, Campus Bambuí, Bambuí, Brazil) (Department of Nutrition, Federal University of Lavras, Lavras, Brazil)
Michel Cardoso de Angelis-Pereira (Department of Nutrition, Federal University of Lavras, Lavras, Brazil)
João de Deus Souza Carneiro (Department of Food Science, Federal University of Lavras, Lavras, Brazil)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 1 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the packaged food market in Brazil by examining the use of nutrition and health claims and marketing techniques, as well as the different levels of industrial food processing in relation to product category, nutrition information and price.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted on the labels of pre-packed foods and non-alcoholic beverages marketed in a home-shopping website in Brazil.

Findings

The authors showed that the use of nutrition and health claims on packaged foods in Brazil is widespread and varied across different food categories. Marketing techniques were also prevalent, and techniques emphasising general health, well-being or naturalness were the most frequent type used. Overall, products carrying nutrition and health claims and/or using marketing techniques had lower content of fat and higher content of fibre. However, the high prevalence of these strategies in ultra-processed foods is alarming. The presence of health claims and use of marketing techniques was not found to be an effective modifier of the three price measures. However, processed and ultra-processed foods were more expensive than unprocessed foods when considering price per energy and price per 100 g or mL.

Originality/value

These results indicate that there are clear opportunities to improve the packaged food environment in supermarkets. It is important to highlight the need to develop public policies to address these issues, including restriction of the promotion and advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages and use of warning labels.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Fundacão de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) for the financial support.

Citation

Pereira, R.C., de Angelis-Pereira, M.C. and Carneiro, J.d.D.S. (2019), "Exploring claims and marketing techniques in Brazilian food labels", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 7, pp. 1550-1564. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-08-2018-0516

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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