Understanding how consumers categorise nutritional labels: A consumer derived typology for front-of-pack nutrition labelling

Charo Hodgkins, Julie Barnett, Grazyna Wasowicz-Kirylo, Malgorzata Stysko-Kunkowska, Yaprak Gulcan, Yesim Kustepeli, Sedef Akgungor, Georgios Chrysochoidis, Laura Fernández-Celemin, Stefan Storcksdieck genannt Bonsmann, Michelle Gibbs, Monique Raats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


Significant ongoing debate exists amongst stakeholders as to the best front-of-pack labelling approach and emerging evidence suggests that the plethora of schemes may cause confusion for the consumer. To gain a better understanding of the relevant psychological phenomena and consumer perspectives surrounding FoP labelling schemes and their optimal development a Multiple Sort Procedure study involving free sorting of a range of nutritional labels presented on cards was performed in four countries (n=60). The underlying structure of the qualitative data generated was explored using Multiple Scalogram Analysis. Elicitation of categorisations from consumers has the potential to provide a very important perspective in this arena and results demonstrated that the amount of information contained within a nutrition label has high salience for consumers, as does the health utility of the label although a dichotomy exists in the affective evaluation of the labels containing varying degrees of information aggregation. Classification of exiting front-of-pack labelling systems on a proposed dimension of 'directiveness' leads to a better understanding of why some schemes may be more effective than others in particular situations or for particular consumers. Based on this research an enhanced hypothetical front-of-pack labelling scheme which combines both directive and non-directive elements is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-817
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

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