This paper aims to examine the effects of qualifying language, functional ingredient, ingredient familiarity and inferences of manipulative intent (IMI) on the likelihood that consumers make stimulus-based inferences about the level of scientific support for health claims on food.
An advertisement copy test for a fictitious product bearing a caries risk-reduction claim has been conducted. The test design comprises three claim conditions, each corresponding to one of the sufficient levels of support for nutrient-health relations within the World Health Organization (WHO)-framework.
The claim conditions have affected the likelihood of making stimulus-based inferences, which is lower for high-level-of-support claims as opposed to low-level-of-support and moderate-level-of-support claims. No effect of ingredient familiarity has been observed. The effect of the functional ingredient featured is significant at the 10 per cent-level. IMI has a negative effect on the likelihood of making a stimulus-based inference.
The survey relies on a demographically homogeneous sample.
Examining the likelihood of stimulus-based inferences about health claim substantiation is essential for assessing the effectiveness of claim formulations and for addressing resulting miscommunication.
The current paper addresses the research gap on consumer ability to identify the level of support for health claims within the European context.
V. Dobrenova, F., Terlutter, R. and Grabner-Kräuter, S. (2014), "Stimulus-based inferences about the scientific substantiation of health claims on food", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 44 No. 4, pp. 335-344. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-08-2013-0095Download as .RIS
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