Published: March 2014

ID #: CAS009

Journal: Journal of Retailing

Authors: Newman CL, Howlett E, Burton S

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Many front-of-package (FOP) nutrition labeling systems have been developed by food retailers and manufactures to help consumers identify more healthful options at the point of purchase. This paper examines how two alternative FOP nutrition labeling systems – reductive and evaluative – affect shoppers’ product evaluations, choices, and retailer evaluations. Reductive FOP systems extract a reduced amount of information from the Nutrition Facts panel and place them on the front of the package. Evaluative FOP systems provide an overall evaluation of a product’s healthfulness. Researchers found that when a single food item was evaluated in isolation, both the reductive and evaluative systems had a positive effect on product evaluations. However, when several options were presented simultaneously in a realistic retail environment, the evaluative system had a stronger influence on product evaluation and choice. Researchers also found that FOP nutrition labeling systems positively influence shoppers’ perceptions of retailer concern for their well-being, which in turn lead to more positive attitudes toward retailers and higher patronage intentions.

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