Nutritional knowledge, nutritional labels, and health claims on food:A study of supermarket shoppers in the South East of England

Dan Petrovici, Andrew Fearne, Rodolfo M. Nayga, Dimitris Drolias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The primary purpose is to examine the factors that affect the use of nutritional facts, nutrient content claims and health claims on food label use in the United Kingdom. The paper reports the results of a survey of over 300 facetoface interviews with shoppers of Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury – three of the major supermarkets in the UK. Product class involvement factors, individual characteristics, healthrelated factors (nutritional knowledge, health locus of control, perceived need of dietary change), situational, attitudinal and behavioral factors were found to be significant factors affecting the use of nutritional information and nutritional and health claims on food labeling. While the use of nutritional information and health claims increases with the stated importance of “nutrition” and “family preferences”, it is less likely among shoppers for whom “taste” is an important driver of food purchasing behaviour. There is also evidence of mistrust in health claims, as indicated by the negative relationship between the consideration of such claims and the stated importance of “quality” and perceived need to “change dietary quality” – the more discerning shoppers are the least likely to consider health claims. The study provides evidence that a wider range of product class involvement factors is necessary to predict the use of nutritional information and nutritional and health claims on food labeling. It also offers a conceptualization of healthrelated factors to include health locus of control as a predictor of the acquisition of nutrition and health information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-783
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Food Journal
Volume114
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun 8

Keywords

  • Consumers
  • Food and drink
  • Health claims
  • Health locus of control
  • Nutrition
  • Nutritional claims
  • Product class involvement factors
  • Shopping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)

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