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Consumer preference for and use of portion information on food and drink packaging: a Pan-European Study

Raats, M, Wills, J and Kennedy, J (2011) Consumer preference for and use of portion information on food and drink packaging: a Pan-European Study In: 11th European Nutrition Conference (FENS), 2011-10-26 - 2011-10-29, Madrid, Spain.

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Introduction: In a climate of overweight and obesity, the amount consumed is just as important as what is eaten. Objectives: To explore if and how European consumers’ preference for and use of portion information on food and drink labels when using nutrition information. Method/Design: A representative sample of 13,117 respondents aged between 18-65 years from 6 European countries (Germany, UK, Spain, France, Poland, Sweden) completed a web-based questionnaire consisting of a range of questions on consumers’ use of portion information when using nutrition information, demographics and scales for respondent segmentation (e.g. health interest, nutrition knowledge, numeracy). Results: For 15 out of the 19 food types studied, at least half of respondents in all six countries thought the stated portion size was ‘exactly right’. Where they differed, they were likely to think it was too small, rather than too big. Respondents were slightly more likely to agree than disagree to want portion information more widely available on packaging. The preferred portion information format depended on the type of food. Per pack was the preferred format for most of the foods types tested. Per 100 g/ml was the preferred format for cheese, soft drinks, soup and condiments. And where the food type can be split into single units, nutrition information by unit was the most or second most preferred format. Most consumers were able to accurately read and relay nutrient information from labels. Providing nutrition information per portion in addition to per 100g information increased consumers’ ability to establish the nutrient content of a portion. Conclusions: The study provides evidence that when nutrition information per portion is present on pack in addition to per 100g/ml information, it helps consumers to use nutrition information correctly and quickly. The challenge remains to encourage consumers to look for and use the information in the first place.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Date : 2011
Uncontrolled Keywords : portion size, food labelling, European consumers
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 13:44
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 15:01

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