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Appetite. 2012 Dec;59(3):806-17. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.08.014. Epub 2012 Aug 20.

Understanding how consumers categorise nutritional labels: a consumer derived typology for front-of-pack nutrition labelling.

Author information

1
Food Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, University of Surrey, Stag Hill, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK. c.hodgkins@surrey.ac.uk

Abstract

Significant ongoing debate exists amongst stakeholders as to the best front-of-pack labelling approach and emerging evidence suggests that the plethora of schemes may cause confusion for the consumer. To gain a better understanding of the relevant psychological phenomena and consumer perspectives surrounding FoP labelling schemes and their optimal development a Multiple Sort Procedure study involving free sorting of a range of nutritional labels presented on cards was performed in four countries (n=60). The underlying structure of the qualitative data generated was explored using Multiple Scalogram Analysis. Elicitation of categorisations from consumers has the potential to provide a very important perspective in this arena and results demonstrated that the amount of information contained within a nutrition label has high salience for consumers, as does the health utility of the label although a dichotomy exists in the affective evaluation of the labels containing varying degrees of information aggregation. Classification of exiting front-of-pack labelling systems on a proposed dimension of 'directiveness' leads to a better understanding of why some schemes may be more effective than others in particular situations or for particular consumers. Based on this research an enhanced hypothetical front-of-pack labelling scheme which combines both directive and non-directive elements is proposed.

PMID:
22918174
DOI:
10.1016/j.appet.2012.08.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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