When ‘low fats’ labels do extra hurt than good – mothspit

When ‘low fats’ labels do extra hurt than good

Promoting your product as low in fats whereas the sugar content material stays excessive leaves customers feeling deceived and fewer inclined to purchase the product, researchers in Germany declare.

In response to a brand new examine by Martin Luther College Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), when producers promote their merchandise as being low in fats, many customers assume that additionally they comprise much less sugar. Nevertheless, the sugar content material of many low-fat merchandise differs little from that of different merchandise.

In a paper revealed within the journal Meals High quality and Choice, the researchers performed three experiments to analyze how the knowledge on yoghurt packaging influences notion and buying behaviour.

Round 760 folks had been requested to charge calorie content material, sugar content material and fats content material on a scale of 1 to seven. They had been additionally requested whether or not they would purchase the product. “We needed to seek out out whether or not details about a lowered fats content material modified the general notion of a product,”​ defined the examine chief and economist Dr Steffen Jahn from MLU.

The outcomes confirmed that just about the entire respondents appropriately estimated the decrease calorie content material of the low-fat yoghurt. On the identical time, additionally they believed that the yoghurt contained much less sugar than the yoghurt that wasn’t labelled low fats. Within the second and third experiment, among the respondents had been proven the low-fat product with the precise dietary data printed on the entrance. This group did appropriate their opinion on the sugar content material, however their willingness to purchase decreased, although the low-fat yoghurt contained fewer energy. One other group was proven low-fat merchandise with out the ‘low fats’ label and their buy intention didn’t change.

Shoppers falsely consider that low fats means much less sugar​

“Many individuals need to eat healthily however fail to take action for a wide range of causes. The data on meals packaging additionally performs a job on this, as it might probably bias shopper perceptions,”​ says Jahn. Some producers reap the benefits of this impact. In Australia, a cake combine was marketed as being ‘97 per cent fats free’ whereas containing 55 per cent sugar.

“Our examine reveals that buyers can really feel deceived by a product as a result of, although ‘low fats’ claims by producers are technically true, part of the reality is hid,”​ concluded Jahn. Producers ought to rethink this observe in the event that they need to retain their prospects in the long term, mentioned the researcher. One risk, he added is to position the dietary values immediately on the entrance of the merchandise.

Varied labelling schemes already do that, nonetheless, akin to Nutri-Rating; the NutrInform Battery label in Italy; the Nordic Keyhole label; and the UK’s visitors gentle system.

In these international locations, diet labelling has been obligatory on all pre-packaged meals since 2016. However the best way through which diet data is offered on the front-of-pack (FOP) shouldn’t be harmonised by European legislation and is at current offered voluntarily by many meals enterprise operators. The European Fee needs to alter this and is dedicated to introducing a compulsory and harmonised front-of-pack dietary labelling scheme throughout member states. A choice is predicted someday this 12 months. Nutri-Rating was as soon as the agency favorite, however after pushback (led by Italy), the Fee has hinted it should put ahead a brand new label constructed across the already present codecs already developed within the European Union.

“I’m supportive of obligatory FOP labelling however don’t assume one of many present labelling schemes is ideal,”​ Jahn informed FoodNavigator. “For instance, the NutriScore works nicely for many individuals however wouldn’t assist detect the biased inference examined in our examine, as a result of no nutrient-specific data is offered.”​

Reference​

Truthful but deceptive: Shopper response to ‘low fats’ meals with excessive sugar content material​

Meals High quality and Choice​

10.1016/j.foodqual.2023.104900