Consumer Opinion of Front-of-pack Labeling

January 11/Chicago/HealthFocus International Press Release -- The FDA is expected to make a recommendation regarding the necessity of labeling items like fat and sodium on the front of food and beverage packages this year.

To better understand shoppers’ views on this, HealthFocus International has conducted a study of over 1,000 U.S. shoppers to ask them their opinion on the necessity of front-of-pack labeling, what they would like to see labeled (e.g., fat, saturated fat, calories, sodium, vitamins, etc.) and how much they feel this labeling will affect their purchasing behavior.

The study also looks at 25 major brands and explores changes in purchase intent for each brand with and without front of pack labels.  Both “better for you” and “indulgent” categories showed interesting results.  For example, purchase intent for products like frozen pizza dropped with the front-of-pack label, while the purchase intent for some cookie brands increased.  Purchase intent for pasta dropped with the front of pack information, while some canned soup brands rose.

Some 43% of shoppers say it is unlikely that FOP labeling will impact their food choices, but some purchase intent scores changed by more than 25%.

Products included in the study were selected to provide a cross section across categories. The products were Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, M&Ms, Dreyer’s Vanilla Ice Cream, Nabisco Chips Ahoy, Lay’s Potato Chips, Orville Redenbacher Popcorn, Yoplait Original, Campbell's V8, Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice, Pepsi, Stouffer's Single Serve, Healthy Choice Café Steamers, DiGiorno Rising Crust Supreme Pizza, Tyson's Chicken Breast Nuggets, Campbell’s Condensed Canned Soup, Progresso Canned Soup, General Mills Cheerios, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, Barilla Pasta, Fiber One Cereal Bars, Kashi TLC bars, Nabisco Wheat Thins, Gatorade, Pepperidge Farms Fresh Bread and  Sara Lee Soft and Smooth Fresh Bread.

For more information about this study or to look at how other brands would be affected, contact Julie Johnson,

From the January 24, 2011, Prepared Foods E-dition