Study: Nutrition labelling needs clearer presence on products

27 November 2011 (Last Updated November 27th, 2011 18:30)

A study into nutritional labelling says it must improve clarity to benefit consumers.

A study into nutritional labelling says it must improve clarity to benefit consumers.

Consumers in the EU need more consistent, front-of-pack nutrition labelling on food and drinks products to make more informed and healthier choices, the report stated.

According to results from the Food Labelling to Advance Better Education for Life (FLABEL) study, consumers in the EU need more consistent, front-of-pack nutrition labelling on food and drinks products to make more informed and healthier choices.

The researchers suggested that elements of nutrition labels held consumers' attention between 25 and 100 milliseconds.

The study, which involved 37,000 products of five different product categories in 84 retail stores, found that 85% of all products carried nutrition information on the back of the packet and 48% on the front of the products.

Klaus Grunert, FLABEL scientific advisor professor, said the best option for increasing consumers' attention to nutrition information is to provide information on the front of the packet.

"Complementing this information with a health logo can also increase attention to, and use of, the information, especially when the consumer is under time pressure, Grunert said. "Similarly, use of colour coding can increase attention and use in certain situations, although the effects of both are not strong."

The European Commission has already initiated the implementation of coordinated nutrition labeling across the 27 member states.