Perceptions, use and perceived value of nutrition and health claims among Australian consumers: a cross-sectional survey
British Food Journal
Purpose: Nutrition and health claims are used widely on food labels and are known to influence food choice, however research has found that consumer perceptions of such claims are mixed. The study aimed to explore the perceptions, use and perceived value of nutrition and health claims among consumers and investigate barriers for the use of claims in guiding food choice. Design/methodology/approach: An online cross-sectional survey conducted in May-July 2019 collected information on participant demographics, reported use and perceptions of nutrition and health claims, and barriers to the use of claims for 150 Australian consumers. Findings: While the majority (73.5%) of respondents were aware of nutrition and health claims on food labels and were largely confident in interpreting claims, 29% of respondents “often” or “always” used claims to guide food choices. More than one-quarter (27.3%) of respondents found nutrition and health claims “not very useful” or “not at all useful” for guiding food choice, while only 12.7% perceived claims as “very trustworthy” or “extremely trustworthy”. The ingredients list and nutrition information panel were the preferred sources of on-pack nutrition information for guiding food choice. Originality/value: Findings suggest there remains a role for nutrition and health claims to help consumers make healthier dietary decisions however, it appears that trust in claims and regulations must firstly be addressed. There is a need to develop strategies to increase the perceived trustworthiness of these claims, including clearer promotion of the current regulatory requirements for making nutrition and health claims.
Open Access Status
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