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FOOD LABELLING CONSUMER RESEARCH
What Consumers Want
A LITERATURE REVIEW
March 2007

Labelling, Standards and Allergy Division
Food Labelling and Marketing Terms Branch
Authors: Laura Harper, Phillip Souta, Jane Ince, Janet Mckenzie.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

SECTION 1 ....................................................................................................... 1 Introduction ................................................................................................... 1 Need for Further Research........................................................................... 2 Methodology ................................................................................................. 3 Questions...................................................................................................... 4 General Questions ...................................................................... 4 Questions relating to specific areas of the European

Commission consultation ............................................................ 6 Summary of findings..................................................................................... 8 SECTION 2 ..................................................................................................... 11 General Questions ...................................................................................... 11 Label information content................................................................... 11 Misdescription .................................................................................... 12 Using Labels ...................................................................................... 13 Marketing Terms (e.g. Fresh, Pure, Natural, etc) .............................. 15 Off-label Information and New Technologies .................................... 16 Effect of Packaging/Type of Product (size, shape, packaging

material) ............................................................................................. 17 Questions relating to specific areas of the European Commission consultation................................................................................................. 18 Voluntary Information......................................................................... 18 Alcoholic Beverages/Alcopops .......................................................... 20 Clarity ................................................................................................. 21 Country of Origin ................................................................................ 25 Welfare labelling ................................................................................ 27 RESEARCH SOURCES AND METHODOLOGIES ....................................... 29 Food Standards Agency Commissioned Research ................................... 29 Research commissioned by other Member States .................................... 31 Mintel Research.......................................................................................... 32 European Commission Research............................................................... 33 Other Documents Reviewed ...................................................................... 33

SECTION 1
Introduction
1.
On 21 September 2006, the Board of the Food Standards Agency asked that consumer research be undertaken to determine what consumers looked for on the label. Prior to undertaking any research, the Executive decided to undertake an in-house literature review of existing research into the understanding of food labels and their use by consumers. There were three aims: to create a reference source of such research, to inform the Agency for the current EU review of general food labelling legislation, and to indicate whether there is a need for further research to take forward the aims of the Agency.

2.
This document is the result of that process. It summarizes the findings of the extensive research...
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