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Information on Food Product Labels Influences Shopping Decisions

Consumers Want More Information on Food Product Labels
In a recent study from Cornell, researchers found that shoppers will pay more if food product labels indicate they are "free of" certain things, like genetically modified ingredients.

Studying 351 subjects, the researchers found that labels "free of" an ingredient made even more of an impact if negative information about that ingredient was provided on the label. Study participants were given $25 to bid on a snack food of their choice, according to a news release from Cornell. Some of the custom food labels also stated "contains," which seemed to negatively impact certain purchasers. Other labels said products were free of artificial dyes and included a note stating the ingredient sometimes caused behavioral changes in children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Food Label Printing Impacts Shoppers
The findings suggest new ways food label printing can be used to influence shoppers. The researchers were surprised at the effect the additional information had on purchasing decisions. Harry Kaiser, a Dyson School professor at Cornell, said providing additional information about product ingredients could lessen negative impacts on demand. Giving consumers more information about the products they're purchasing makes them feel more confident, he added.