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Public Health Nutr. 2019 Oct;22(15):2879-2890. doi: 10.1017/S1368980019001423. Epub 2019 Jun 24.

The effects of voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labels on volume shares of products: the case of the Dutch Choices.

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Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 25, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.
Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Uppsala, Sweden.
Schuttelaar & Partners, Wageningen, The Netherlands.



The study examines the impact of a front-of-pack label (Dutch Choices) on household purchase patterns.


Change in households' volume share of products eligible for the label (treatment group) is estimated as a function of changes in the market share of products displaying the label (treatment), while controlling for other relevant factors.


Home-scan data for five food categories, subdivided into eighteen food groups, for households participating in a Dutch consumer panel. The data are from the period 2005 to 2009, which includes the date of the introduction of the Choices label.


Between 831 and 7216 households from all over the Netherlands.


An increase in the market share of products displaying the label led to an increase in the volume share purchased of products eligible for the label for dairy products, yoghurts and for sauces. For some of the products, the partial effect is considerable (e.g. a 10 percentage point (pp) increase in the share of products displaying the label is associated with a 11·5 and 14·0 pp increase in the volume share of eligible products for chocolate milk and quark, respectively).


The results suggest a positive effect from the presence of the Choices label on the volume share of eligible products purchased. Provided that eligible products are healthier than non-eligible products, the Choices label is a good guide for consumers in order to help them make healthier food choices. The positive effect is found mainly in food groups with a mix of both healthy and unhealthy food products.


Effect study; Front-of-pack labelling; Household purchase data


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