Eating packaged food has become a common phenomenon in today's time-pressed world. They are quick, fuss-free and help you put together a meal in very less time. While some of these packaged items are often deemed unhealthy due to the high fat, carbs and preservative-content, several other foods are known to be packed keeping the nutritional factor in mind. Hence, experts always recommend checking nutrition labels on the product packages before buying them. But the question here is - how many of us actually check the label before buying a product? If you look around, you will find a number of people ignoring the nutrition label on the package while buying a food item. One of the probable reasons for the same could be the placement of the label on the package (generally on the backside).
A new study has found that placing these nutrition labels in front of the package may help people get more conscious about what they are eating. Alongside, this practice may also help to increase the nutritional quality of the food (from the manufacturer's side). Authored by Joon Ho Lim, Rishika Rishika, Ramkumar Janakiraman, and P.K. Kannan, this study was published in the Journal of Marketing.
The researchers surveyed nutritional data of different categories of food products and inferred four sets of findings, As per ANI, the findings are as below:
1. The adoption of front-of-package (FOP) nutrition labelling in a product category results in a significant improvement in the nutritional quality of food products in that category.
2. The effect of FOP is stronger for premium (high-priced) brands and brands with a narrower product line breadth.
3. The FOP adoption effect is stronger for unhealthy categories and categories with higher competitive intensity.
4. Manufacturers increase the nutritional quality of products by reducing the calorie content and limiting nutrients such as sugar, sodium, and saturated fat.
"This implies that policymakers, in partnership with food manufacturers and retailers, should encourage adoption of voluntary, standardised, and transparent labelling programs and consider options for broadening the information presented in FOP labels. We believe that policymakers should also invest in educational campaigns that inform consumers about the value of FOP labels and that would further incentivize food manufacturers to offer nutritionally better products," stated researcher Joon Ho Lim.
The researchers further stated that this front of package labelling will also help the consumers buy relatively healthier food products.