Estimated time - 3 min
As part of the « Health Claims Unpacked » project, supported by the EIT Food (Institute of Innovation and Technology), researchers studied consumer reaction to the way health claims are presented on packaging and how food companies face different regulatory requirements.
The ultimate goal of the project is to create resources to help policymakers, food manufacturers, retailers and traders to communicate more effectively about the health benefits of food products, enabling consumers to make more informed choices. .
It emerges that the differences in culture, language and application policy between different european countries lead to difficulties of understanding among European consumers:
- Depending on the country and their cultural ideas about food and eating, consumers react differently. In the United Kingdom and in Poland, they are much more open to reading the health benefits of their food, while French consumers are more interested in the quality and taste.
- The wording translation problems lead to an unequal connotation in the translation, for example the term “normal” has been replaced by “healthy” in Poland.
- English and German speaking consumers prefer shorter claims with simple grammar. Ex: “Selenium contributes to antioxidant activity” compared to “selenium contributes to the protection of cells against oxidative stress”.
Professor Rodney Jones said “The way the authorised claims are worded and, the differences in how the regulation is enforced in different countries, makes many manufacturers reluctant to use health claims at all, which means that consumers get less information about the nutritional value of their food. ”