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Effective nutrition labels for fast food consumers

Effective nutrition labels for fast food consumers PurposeThe fast-food market is one area which faces little regulation of visible nutritional information on menus and food packaging to encourage healthy food choices. Additionally, nutritional information’s effectiveness is mostly unknown in the fast-food market. The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the effectiveness of various forms of nutritional labelling methods and information by analysing the consumer decision-making process of 248 fast-food consumers.Design/methodology/approachThree discrete choice experiments are used to compare three popular nutritional symbol methods. Consumer preferences for these symbols are extracted using a “choice-based” conjoint analysis, while controlling for price and branding of fast-food products.FindingsIt is found that a very simple “traffic light signal” is the best signal for suggesting healthiness, with as much as 41 per cent of the importance in consumer decision making (p<0.01), over that of product pricing and even product brand and performs better than more information laden guided daily amounts symbols and health endorsement methods (attributing 27 and 13 per cent in their respective studies). This highlights the fine balance between too much and too little food nutrition information and (most notably) how specific nutritional information methods can be even more influential on food choices than a change in product price might.Originality/valueThere is currently a lack of research into the use of nutritional cues on influencing fast-food choices. Additionally, most previous studies focus on the isolated effect of nutrition labels. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Food Journal Emerald Publishing

Effective nutrition labels for fast food consumers

British Food Journal , Volume 118 (10): 16 – Oct 3, 2016

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0007-070X
DOI
10.1108/BFJ-03-2016-0111
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe fast-food market is one area which faces little regulation of visible nutritional information on menus and food packaging to encourage healthy food choices. Additionally, nutritional information’s effectiveness is mostly unknown in the fast-food market. The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the effectiveness of various forms of nutritional labelling methods and information by analysing the consumer decision-making process of 248 fast-food consumers.Design/methodology/approachThree discrete choice experiments are used to compare three popular nutritional symbol methods. Consumer preferences for these symbols are extracted using a “choice-based” conjoint analysis, while controlling for price and branding of fast-food products.FindingsIt is found that a very simple “traffic light signal” is the best signal for suggesting healthiness, with as much as 41 per cent of the importance in consumer decision making (p<0.01), over that of product pricing and even product brand and performs better than more information laden guided daily amounts symbols and health endorsement methods (attributing 27 and 13 per cent in their respective studies). This highlights the fine balance between too much and too little food nutrition information and (most notably) how specific nutritional information methods can be even more influential on food choices than a change in product price might.Originality/valueThere is currently a lack of research into the use of nutritional cues on influencing fast-food choices. Additionally, most previous studies focus on the isolated effect of nutrition labels.

Journal

British Food JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 3, 2016

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