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Is Placing Nutrition Info on Front of Food Product Labels Ineffective?

Study Finds Nutrition Information on Front of Food Product Labels Doesn't Impact Consumer Choice

A study published in research journal Appetite found food product labels that contain front-of-pack nutritional information have little influence over consumers' decisions to purchase certain products, according to Food Navigator.

The research team studied 1,000 German and Polish consumers in retail environments. The team reportedly altered information placed on the front-of-item packaging that pertained to calories and nutrients. Researchers modified the suggested daily amounts, color coding schemes and text describing the content of each nutrient, the source explained.

The team asked participants to choose from sets of products and determined the information placed on the front of food product labels had little influence over the items people chose.

Is Front-of-Pack Nutrition Info on Labels for Food Products Ineffective?
In the United States, more labels for food products are featuring nutritional information on the front of packaging. Facts Up Front, an initiative started in 2010 and led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association has led many marketers to include the amount of calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar in products.

While this voluntary initiative is aimed at encouraging U.S. shoppers to make healthy choices, the study results reported on by Food Navigator suggest front-of-pack nutritional info doesn't influence consumer purchases. Instead, researchers stated product selection and environment may impact the decisions people make in stores.