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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Ilija Djekic and Nada Smigic

– 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.

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.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2012

Dan Petrovici, Andrew Fearne, Rodolfo M. Nayga and Dimitris Drolias

The primary purpose is to examine the factors that affect the use of nutritional facts, nutrient content claims and health claims on food label use in the United Kingdom.

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Abstract

Purpose

The primary purpose is to examine the factors that affect the use of nutritional facts, nutrient content claims and health claims on food label use in the United Kingdom.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports the results of a survey of over 300 face‐to‐face interviews with shoppers of Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury – three of the major supermarkets in the UK.

Findings

Product class involvement factors, individual characteristics, health‐related factors (nutritional knowledge, health locus of control, perceived need of dietary change), situational, attitudinal and behavioral factors were found to be significant factors affecting the use of nutritional information and nutritional and health claims on food labeling. While the use of nutritional information and health claims increases with the stated importance of “nutrition” and “family preferences”, it is less likely among shoppers for whom “taste” is an important driver of food purchasing behaviour. There is also evidence of mistrust in health claims, as indicated by the negative relationship between the consideration of such claims and the stated importance of “quality” and perceived need to “change dietary quality” – the more discerning shoppers are the least likely to consider health claims.

Originality/value

The study provides evidence that a wider range of product class involvement factors is necessary to predict the use of nutritional information and nutritional and health claims on food labeling. It also offers a conceptualization of health‐related factors to include health locus of control as a predictor of the acquisition of nutrition and health information.

Article
Publication date: 25 October 2011

Chien‐Huang Lin, Hung‐Chou Lin and Sheng‐Hsien Lee

This paper seeks to explore the effect of mood states and gender on the relationship between health‐related information and variety seeking (VS) behavior among food products.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to explore the effect of mood states and gender on the relationship between health‐related information and variety seeking (VS) behavior among food products.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experiments were conducted to examine the moderating effects of mood states and gender on the relationship between health‐related information and VS.

Findings

The results indicate that sad people incorporate more VS than happy people when health warnings and nutritional labeling are absent, but sad and happy people tend to converge to similar levels of VS when health warnings and nutritional labeling are present. Moreover, males incorporate less VS than females when health warnings are present, while females incorporate less VS than males when nutritional labeling is present.

Practical implications

In the absence of health warnings and nutritional labeling, it is a wiser way for leading brands to cultivate positive consumer moods by utilization of humorous ads, so that they do not search for varied products. For less well‐known brands, inducing negative consumer moods is a better way to encourage brand switching. Further, providing nutritional labeling will strengthen consumer brand loyalty by reducing their VS, especially for females. As the health warnings reduce the VS for males, marketers may take advantage of this effect by associating brand names with health warnings.

Originality/value

As VS is found to be related to over‐consumption, it is important to investigate the effects of health‐related information on VS. However, little empirical evidence has been found on the effect of health‐related information on VS behavior. Further, this study takes into consideration moderating factors as it is important for marketers to realize how health‐related information interacts with the consumer's VS behavior under different mood states and gender. The findings demonstrate that the relationship between health‐related information and VS is moderated by mood states and gender differences, an important contribution to the research on VS behavior.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 113 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 July 2022

Diogo Souza-Monteiro, Ben Lowe and Iain Fraser

Numeracy skills hinder a consumer’s ability to meet nutrition and calorie consumption guidelines. This study extends the literature on nutritional labelling by…

Abstract

Purpose

Numeracy skills hinder a consumer’s ability to meet nutrition and calorie consumption guidelines. This study extends the literature on nutritional labelling by investigating how a calorie counter, which displays the total amount of calories consumers add to a shopping basket, aids them in making food choices. This study aims to ascertain whether the calorie counter affects food choices and also how individual and situational factors moderate this effect.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the developed hypotheses, the authors designed an online shopping experiment and administered it to a national panel of British consumers. This included a sub-sample from the general population who did not report any food-related health conditions (n = 480) and a separate sub-sample from the same population who had reported a food-related health condition or lived with someone who had one (n = 250).

Findings

The results of this study show that the calorie counter leads to a large and statistically significant reduction in calories purchased when compared to the no nutritional information condition and a small (but statistically insignificant) reduction in the number of calories chosen by consumers when compared to the nutritional information only condition. The main effect is moderated by individual factors such as whether or not the person has a health condition and shopping situations which involve time pressure.

Research limitations/implications

Although the main effect of the calorie counter was not statistically significant when compared to the nutrition information only condition, the effect was in the correct direction and was statistically significant for consumers who had a food-related health condition. The conceptualisation and findings of this study are not only largely consistent with Moorman’s (1990) nutrition information utilisation process but also suggest that situational factors should be considered when understanding nutrition information processing.

Practical implications

The findings from this study provide the first evidence to suggest that aggregating calorie information through a calorie counter can be a useful way to overcome consumer numeracy biases, particularly for those with existing health conditions and who are most motivated to use nutritional information. Based on the descriptive statistics, the main effect was comparable to the UK’s sugar tax in its impact and the authors estimate this would lead to a reduction in calories consumed of about 5,000 per year, even for consumers who did not report a health condition. Further testing is required with different formats, but these results are encouraging and are worthy of further research.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to investigate how consumers react to aggregated nutritional information for a basket of products, mimicking a real shopping situation. Such information has the potential to become more relevant and useful to consumers in the context of their overall diets. As technology advances rapidly, there is a need to explore alternative ways of presenting nutritional information, so it connects more easily with consumers. These results point very much to a more targeted and personally relevant approach to information provision, in contrast to existing mass communications approaches.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 January 2010

Manisha Singla

Nutritional labeling of food products is not mandatory in India at present and the Indian Government is on the verge of introducing a code of conduct for it. The aim of…

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Abstract

Purpose

Nutritional labeling of food products is not mandatory in India at present and the Indian Government is on the verge of introducing a code of conduct for it. The aim of this paper is to provide some initial guidelines for the above‐said purpose so as to have consumer friendly labeling policies.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured questionnaire‐based survey was used for the purpose of the study. A total of 100 respondents were considered for the study. Data were collected from two superstores located in New Delhi.

Findings

Food labels are read by the consumers for brand comparisons and not for consulting nutritional information. Difficult terminology, small font size and inability to understand nutritional labels are the major problems encountered by the consumers. Television, friends, magazines are commonly used for assessing nutritional information. Labels are considered more consumer friendly when benchmarks regarding serving size are provided. Income level, size of household, number of children and age did not play a role in the usage of nutritional labels by the consumers. Consumers with special dietary needs used nutritional labels regularly.

Research limitations/implications

A small sample size is the limitation of the study.

Originality/value

This is the first study of its kind in India. It is valuable for the Indian Government in framing policies regarding nutritional labeling and for imparting nutritional education. It will also help it to draft consumer friendly labels for effective usage.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 112 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2021

Young Hoon Kim, Sangyung Lee and Nelson Barber

With dining out increasing globally, policy making and research have been on menu labeling as a source for meaningful nutrition information. Yet, despite attempts to…

Abstract

Purpose

With dining out increasing globally, policy making and research have been on menu labeling as a source for meaningful nutrition information. Yet, despite attempts to mandate menu labeling and the studies examining consumer's perception of menu nutritional information and how this perception impacts dining behavior and intention to consume, concerns for obesity and malnutrition continue to be at the forefront of public health discussions. This study attempts to comprehend consumers' nutritional goals, intention and food choice behavior, thereby suggesting how to leverage this information for change.

Design/methodology/approach

Using survey data and a proposed and validated theoretical model, the study identified the different aspects of consumer's food choice by analyzing the relationship of consumer's perceived importance toward nutrition information, food choice and healthy daily behavior, and intention to improve health.

Findings

Consumers who perceive higher importance of nutrition information are more likely to choose healthy food when dining out and have stronger health improvement intention. The results also suggested healthy food choice and healthy daily behavior positively influenced health improvement intention.

Originality/value

Despite the previous studies on menu labeling and the numerous policy mandates, there is still concern about the food choice behavior of consumers while eating out. No serious effort exists to regulate food service providers similar to the regulation of other consumer products, whereby consumers are generally protected from harm. This study suggests through education, promotional marketing and industry partnerships, motivating and leveraging consumers' desire for healthy food choices could move food service providers and policy makers to change what information is provided.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 124 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1989

Alison Taylor and Simon Johnson

As we pointed out in our first article in the May issue, the fast food market in the UK is expanding rapidly, and new fast food products are continually appearing in the…

Abstract

As we pointed out in our first article in the May issue, the fast food market in the UK is expanding rapidly, and new fast food products are continually appearing in the high street. These include filled croissants, cookies and French bread sandwiches, with names like Franch Franks, le Croissant Shop and Mrs Field's Cookies. At the same time the more mainstream lines or burger and pizza chains are responding to the demands of the more health conscious consumer by offering nutritional information and products with a healthy image.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 89 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Marina Cabral Rebouças, Maria do Carmo Passos Rodrigues, Silvia Maria de Freitas, Bruno Burnier Arcanjo Ferreira and Vanderson da Silva Costa

The number of researches that evaluate how behavioural and personality issues affect consumers’ acceptance and perception of food is increasing. Thus, this study aimed to…

Abstract

Purpose

The number of researches that evaluate how behavioural and personality issues affect consumers’ acceptance and perception of food is increasing. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of nutritional information and health claims related to soya and cashew nut beverages over consumers’ acceptance and perception regarding nutritional value and healthiness and to verify whether behavioural and personality issues affect such evaluation.

Design/methodology/approach

The samples were evaluated in two phases, with (blind phase) and without information (informed phase) about their composition, nutritional characteristics and functional claims related to some of their ingredients. The sensory evaluation data were analysed by means of the analysis of variance for repeated measures, applying 2 (information) × 2 (beverage) and generalised linear model to evaluate the effect of information over the acceptance averages, as well as over the perception of healthy food and nutritional value.

Findings

Information on composition, nutritional characteristics and functional claims related to the cashew nut and soya beverages did not influence flavour acceptance (p-value = 0.250) and overall impression (p-value = 0.316), but had a positive impact on consumers’ perception regarding healthiness (p-value < 0.001) and nutritious value (p-value < 0.001) of both beverages, the cashew nut beverage being perceived as more nutritious and healthier than the soya beverage. Consumers’ different characteristics with respect to their interest in healthy eating (high and low) and food neophobia (neophiliacs and neophobics) did not have any influence on the beverages’ acceptance, as well as on the perception of healthy food and nutritious value.

Originality/value

This work compares consumers’ acceptance and perception regarding nutritional value and healthiness with relation a totally unique product in the Brazilian market, and in the world, a new functional beverage made from cashew nuts, with a soya-milk beverage. Until this moment, there are no studies comparing consumer acceptance and perception of products based on hydrosoluble extract-base added with fruit juice which evaluate the influence of behavioural and personality characteristics of consumers in their perception and acceptance towards these products.

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Selin Ögel Aydın and Metin Argan

Nutritional disorders and unhealthy nutrition, which are recognised as the causes of many widespread health problems (overweight, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular…

Abstract

Purpose

Nutritional disorders and unhealthy nutrition, which are recognised as the causes of many widespread health problems (overweight, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc.) have emerged as a significant problem that requires resolution. The purpose of this study is to influence dietary preferences and to reduce current health issues by using gamification as a social marketing tool. To this end, the decision-making processes affecting food choices in individuals based on calorific content were evaluated and the effectiveness of gamification in encouraging consumers to make lower-calorie choices was examined.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental design was used to determine the effect of gamification on the dietary preferences of consumers. An independent factorial design (between groups) in which multiple variables were tested with different subjects was used to test the factors that were thought to affect the food choices made by the participants from gamified and non-gamified menus.

Findings

In Study 1, menus (gamified vs non-gamified) and nutritional consciousness (low vs high) had a significant main effect on the total calorie count of the selected foods. In Study 2, menus (gamified with prices vs non-gamified with prices) had a significant main effect on the total calorie count of the selected foods, while nutritional consciousness (low vs high) did not. A significant interaction was observed between menus and nutritional consciousness.

Practical implications

Gamification can be used as an important publicity tool for promoting public health using different influential factors such as price.

Originality/value

This study shows that people can change their food preferences positively through gamification. It shows further how people tend to evaluate the price of their food rather than the calorie count when making dietary preferences. Gamification can, therefore, be considered a promising social marketing tool for improving public health.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 December 2021

Seda Erdem

The aim is to explore the impact of new menu labels on consumers' actual meal purchases with a field experiment undertaken in a local restaurant.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim is to explore the impact of new menu labels on consumers' actual meal purchases with a field experiment undertaken in a local restaurant.

Design/methodology/approach

The author used a field experiment in a natural eating environment at a restaurant to investigate the effect of restaurant menu labelling on consumers' meal choices and opinions on the use of nutritional labels on menus. The experiment included control and treatment conditions in which we offered customers unlabelled and labelled menus, respectively. After individuals' dining experience, the data on meal choices and attitudes to menu labelling was collected via a brief questionnaire. The author then performed inferential statistical analysis to test differences between the control and treatment conditions and logistic regression analysis to explore further what predicts the probability of labels being influential on meal choice.

Findings

The study finds that the information provided to the consumers on restaurant menus matters. The more useful the information is perceived by consumers, the more likely the labels will influence their choices. Calorie content and the walking minutes to burn those calories on labels were considered the most useful aspect of the menu labels.

Originality/value

The study contributes to a better understanding of the impact of menu labelling on actual meal purchases, as well as the best way to communicate calorie and nutrient information to consumers. The author also shares her experience designing a field experiment with a restaurateur for future research.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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