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Nutrients. 2019 Mar 2;11(3). pii: E539. doi: 10.3390/nu11030539.

Understanding How Consumers Categorise Health Related Claims on Foods: A Consumer-Derived Typology of Health-Related Claims.

Author information

1
Food Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK. c.hodgkins@surrey.ac.uk.
2
Food Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK. m.egan@surrey.ac.uk.
3
Food Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK. m.peacock@surrey.ac.uk.
4
Food Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK. n.klepacz@surrey.ac.uk.
5
Nutrition Institute, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. krista.miklavec@nutris.org.
6
Nutrition Institute, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. igor.pravst@nutris.org.
7
Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. igor.pravst@nutris.org.
8
Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. Jure.Pohar@bf.uni-lj.si.
9
Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA), 50059 Zaragoza, Spain. agracia@aragon.es.
10
The Institute for Consumer & Behavioural Research, Universität des Saarlandes, D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. groeppel-klein@ikv.uni-sb.de.
11
British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Noncommunicable Disease Prevention, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK. mike.rayner@dph.ox.ac.uk.
12
Food Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK. m.raats@surrey.ac.uk.

Abstract

The Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR) EC No 1924/2006 aims to provide an appropriate level of consumer protection whilst supporting future innovation and fair competition within the EU food industry. However, consumers' interpretation of health claims is less well understood. There is a lack of evidence on the extent to which consumers are able to understand claims defined by this regulatory framework. Utilising the Multiple Sort Procedure (MSP), a study was performed (N = 100 participants across five countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom) to facilitate development of a framework of health-related claims encompassing dimensions derived from consumers. Our results provide useful insight into how consumers make sense of these claims and how claims may be optimised to enhance appropriate consumer understanding. They suggest consumers may not consciously differentiate between a nutrition claim and a health claim in the way that regulatory experts do and provide insight into where this might occur. A consumer-derived typology of health-related claims based on three key dimensions is proposed: (1) Familiarity with the nutrient, substance or food stated in the claim; (2) statement type in terms of simplicity/complexity; (3) relevance of the claim, either personally or for a stated population group.

KEYWORDS:

consumer understanding; health claim typology; health claims; multiple sort procedure; nutrition claims

PMID:
30832373
DOI:
10.3390/nu11030539
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