Most consumers don’t pay attention to packing ingredients list

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th November 2015

New research from the Netherlands has found that most Netherlands-based consumers pay little attention to the ingredients lists on food labelling.


The study, which was commissioned by Unilever and was accepted on the 17 September 2015 by Appetite journal, evaluated whether or not consumers would notice subtle packaging changes which attempted to make ingredients appear more ‘natural’. In the majority of cases consumers were found to experience ‘Choiceblindnesss’ and did not notice changes. Most shoppers only paid attention to the ingredients list if they were prompted to.


The findings from the study may surprise many food companies that have invested heavily in ‘clean labelling’ to help promote the ingredients as showing the product as more natural or health-conscious.


“Food manufacturers and policy makers have been tailoring food product ingredient information to consumers’ self-reported preference for natural products and concerns over food additives. Yet, the influence of this ingredient information on consumers remains inconclusive,” said the research paper.


Researchers also stated that more research was required to help know why consumers ignore ingredient lists.


“Future research should investigate the reasons for consumers’ inattention to ingredient information and develop more effective strategies for conveying information to consumers,” the research paper states.


Australian comparison 


Australian Food News  has previously reported that food labelling remains an important factor for influencing buyers choices. In fact, as a result of widespread consumer concerns in Australia several years ago, the Federal government conducted a review of food labelling laws. The investigating panel, led by former Hawke Labor government minister Dr Neal Blewett, issued its “Labelling Logic” report with numerous recommendations in 2011.


Article of interest: Health-conscious consumers read food labels, but does the label cause weight loss?