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Food marketing can change buying habits, but consumers may become ‘numb’ to unnecessary labels

| | January 22, 2019
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A study by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University said labeling has an effect on consumer eating behavior — just not in every category. The study was based on an analysis of 60 interventional studies from between 1990 and 2014, with two million unique observations that reported dietary intakes, purchases and sales receipts.

According to researchers, food labels reduce consumer intake of calories by 6.6%, fat by 10.6% and other unhealthy food options by 13%. Labels also increase vegetable consumption by 13.5%….

….A growing number of seals and symbols are cropping up on U.S. foods and beverages that tout if an item is organic, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, non-allergenic, produced under humane or fair labor conditions and whether the packaging is compostable or recyclable….

Related article:  Non-GMO Project says proposed ban of its butterfly label violates First Amendment

….In addition to this new study from Tufts, a report from Label Insight and the Food Marketing Institute revealed that 75% of shoppers will switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information….

Still, CPG companies shouldn’t get carried away with labeling. Consumers can become numb to labels and are likely to only be interested in claims that resonate with their beliefs and concerns. Additionally, there are some clear claims that are unnecessary — gluten-free labels on eggs — that will only serve to crowd an already loaded package.

Read full, original article: How food labels help consumers eat healthier

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