Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Behavioural effects of directive cues on front-of-package nutrition information: the combination matters!

  • Joerg Koenigstorfer (a1), Grażyna Wąsowicz-Kiryło (a2), Małgorzata Styśko-Kunkowska (a2) and Andrea Groeppel-Klein (a3)

Abstract

Objective

Nutrition information aims to reduce information asymmetries between manufacturers and consumers. To date, however, it remains unclear how nutrition information that is shown on the front of the packaging should be designed in order to increase both visual attention and the tendency to make healthful food choices. The present study aimed to address this gap in research.

Design

An experimental laboratory study applying mobile eye-tracking technology manipulated the presence of two directive cues, i.e. health marks and traffic light colour-coding, as part of front-of-package nutrition information on actual food packages.

Setting

Participants wore mobile eye-tracking glasses during a simulated shopping trip. After the ostensible study had finished, they chose one snack (from an assortment of fifteen snacks) as a thank you for participation. All products were labelled with nutrition information according to the experimental condition.

Subjects

Consumers (n 160) who were mainly responsible for grocery shopping in their household participated in the study.

Results

The results showed that, in the absence of traffic light colouring, health marks reduced attention to the snack food packaging. This effect did not occur when the colouring was present. The combination of the two directive cues (v. presenting traffic light colours only) made consumers choose more healthful snacks, according to the nutrient profile.

Conclusions

Public policy makers may recommend retailers and manufacturers implement consistent front-of-pack nutrition labelling that contains both health marks and traffic light colouring as directive cues. The combination of the cues may increase the likelihood of healthful decision making.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Behavioural effects of directive cues on front-of-package nutrition information: the combination matters!
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Behavioural effects of directive cues on front-of-package nutrition information: the combination matters!
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Behavioural effects of directive cues on front-of-package nutrition information: the combination matters!
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email joerg.koenigstorfer@tum.de

References

Hide All
1. Grunert, KG, Fernández-Celemín, L, Wills, JM et al. (2010) Use and understanding of nutrition information on food labels in six European countries. J Public Health 18, 261277.
2. Balasubramanian, SK & Cole, CA (2002) Consumers’ search and use of nutrition information: the challenge and promise of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act. J Mark 66, 112127.
3. Van Herpen, E & van Trijp, HCM (2011) Front-of-pack nutrition labels. Their effect on attention and choices when consumers have varying goals and time constraints. Appetite 57, 148160.
4. Hodgkins, C, Barnett, J, Wąsowicz-Kiryło, G et al. (2012) Understanding how consumers categorize nutritional labels; a consumer derived typology for front-of-pack nutrition labeling. Appetite 59, 806817.
5. Food Standards Agency (2007) Using Traffic Lights to Make Healthier Choices. London: FSA.
6. Bialkova, S & van Trijp, HCM (2010) What determines consumer attention to nutrition labels? Food Qual Prefer 21, 10421051.
7. Jones, G & Richardson, M (2007) An objective examination of consumer perception of nutrition information on healthiness ratings and eye movements. Public Health Nutr 10, 238244.
8. Koenigstorfer, J, Groeppel-Klein, A, Kamm, F et al . (2012) The traffic light colors red and green in the context of healthy food decision-making. In Advances in Consumer Research, vol. 40 [Z Gurhan-Canli, C Otnes and J Rui Zhu, editors]. Duluth: Association for Consumer Research.
9. Genschow, O, Reutner, L & Wänke, M (2012) The color red reduces snack food and soft drink intake. Appetite 58, 699702.
10. Garsetti, M, de Vries, J, Smith, M et al. (2007) Nutrient profiling schemes: overview and comparative analysis. Eur J Nutr 46, 1528.
11. Choices International Foundation (2008) 2007 Qualifying Criteria for the Choices Stamp. Brussels: Choices International Foundation.
12. Rosbergen, E, Pieters, R & Wedel, M (1997) Visual attention to advertising: a segment-level analysis. J Consum Res 24, 305314.
13. Rayner, M, Scarborough, P & Stockley, L (2004) Nutrient Profiles: Options for Definitions for Use in Relation to Food Promotion and Children's Diets. Oxford: University of Oxford.
14. Grunert, KG, Wills, JM & Fernández-Celemín, L (2010) Nutrition knowledge, and use and understanding of nutrition information on food labels among consumers in the UK. Appetite 55, 177189.
15. Raghunathan, R, Walker Naylor, R & Hoyer, WD (2006) The unhealthy=tasty intuition and its effects on taste inferences, enjoyment, and choice of food products. J Mark 70, 170184.
16. Königstorfer, J & Gröppel-Klein, A (2012) Wahrnehmungs- und Kaufverhaltenswirkungen von Nährwertkennzeichnungen auf Produktverpackungen (The effects of nutrition information on consumer attention and decision making). Mark ZFP – J Res Manage 34, 213226.
17. Draper, AK, Adamson, AJ, Clegg, S et al. (2013) Front-of-pack nutrition labelling: are multiple formats a problem for consumers? Eur J Public Health 23, 517521.
18. Viswanathan, M & Hastak, M (2002) The role of summary information in facilitating consumers’ comprehension of nutrition information. J Public Policy Mark 21, 305318.
19. Moorman, C (1990) The effects of stimulus and consumer characteristics on the utilization of nutrition information. J Consum Res 17, 362374.

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed