Consumer Use of Nutrition Labels: An Examination of Label Effectiveness & Dual-Process Theories
Haverford College. Department of Psychology
Place of Publication
Table of Contents
Recently, the prevalence of obesity and diet-related diseases have increased, indicating that many people are consuming energy-dense, nutrient-poor diets– over consuming sodium and fats and under consuming potassium, iron, and calcium. Now more than ever, people are invested in improving their health and are much more attune to nutrition information, content, and quality. With new products, nutritious alternatives, and food label attributes, it is crucial that consumers are aware of the nutrition information for all foods they purchase. While nutrition labels aim to be effective, consumer-friendly tools, not everyone understands the information included and its value to personal health. There is a significant gap between those who understand nutrition information and those who do not. Bridging this gap requires increasing all consumers' health knowledge, motivation, and most importantly, perceived relevance. Because front-of-pack labels aim to quickly attract consumer attention and provide relevant information without too much clutter, this labeling system has generated increased interest regarding consumer behavior. There is a substantial amount of literature examining what labels are the most effective in attracting and holding consumer attention, as well as the dynamic interactions between consumer characteristics, stimuli, and situational factors. To answer some of these questions, it is necessary to explore consumers' processing strategies, specifically how motivation for processing is dependent on perceived personal relevance between the consumer and the message or information presented.