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Food labels – status and consumers’ attitude on the Serbian food market

Ilija Djekic (Department of Food Safety and Quality Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia)
Nada Smigic (Food Safety and Quality Management Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Republic of Serbia)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 14 March 2016

703

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present results from a research that analyzed the quality of labels available in the Serbian food market and consumers’ attitudes toward food labels.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 899 food labels have been analyzed in relation to the presence of legally required information, their readability to average consumer and presence of nutritional/health claims and/or nutritional information. In parallel, 400 respondents were interviewed in the survey of consumers’ attitudes regarding labels.

Findings

Results revealed that 38.2 per cent of food products hold labels that are not fully readable to average consumers. Regarding basic label information, 11 per cent of foods have missing information in terms of series/lot identification. The majority of the products (87.4 per cent) have only basic nutritional information with 4.6 per cent of products holding nutritional claims. Consumers with active sport activities showed higher awareness of nutritional information. There were no statistically significant differences between smokers and non-smokers regarding their attitudes toward nutritional information. Age and education play a significant role in ranking nutritional facts. The most important nutritional information is fat content, followed by sugar and vitamins.

Research limitations/implications

The nature of the study did not allow conclusions regarding causal relationship between food products and consumers as well as if nutritional information affects consumers’ choices and purchasing patronage.

Originality/value

The findings of this study are worthy, as they report the Serbian consumers’ understanding of labels and nutritional information as well as the status food labels sold in the Serbian market.

Keywords

Citation

Djekic, I. and Smigic, N. (2016), "Food labels – status and consumers’ attitude on the Serbian food market", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 46 No. 2, pp. 204-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-09-2015-0102

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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