According to a 2017 poll conducted by news service organization Reuters, 84% of adults agreed that “the government should require nutrition information labels on all packaged food” sold in stores. And taking this a step further, more than 60% said they would even like to see nutritional information on restaurant menus.
The poll also found that those who do read food labels are mainly concerned about how it will affect their overall health, looking for calorie count information, sugar content, fat and more.
Many other food labeling surveys have found that more people—younger people, especially—are reading food labels. This is especially true when selecting grab-and-go food items, as well as items in a cafeteria or at a buffet.
Some food manufacturers are taking steps to ensure consumers make informed food choices and know more precisely what is in the food they select. They are doing this by placing front-of-packaging nutrition labels, as the name implies, on the front of food packaging.
These labels are hard to miss, and while they do not include all the nutritional information found on a food label, they contain enough information so that consumers have a better idea as to what they are selecting.
To see if it’s true that shoppers want more labels, a study was conducted involving more than 7,000 consumers with four different versions of front-of-package labels placed on breakfast cereals and frozen entrees:
- Version 1: a control with no nutrition information
- Version 2: calories only
- Version 3: calories and other nutrients that should be limited (i.e. total fat, sodium, etc.)
- Version 4: everything from version three, plus nutrients that are considered healthy (such as vitamins)
Each package also included the nutrition facts panel required on almost all food products sold in the U.S. The study required that the surveyed consumers had purchased and consumed the food items selected in the past three months.
The consumers were then asked questions about the nutrient amounts and daily percentage values on these food items. “In general, the more nutrition information on the front of the package, the better consumers were at identifying and comprehending nutritional attributes of the food,” a report in Nutraceuticals World says.
Further, the study found that the fourth label version, which provided the most nutritional information, scored higher than the other front-of-package labeling information.
This is likely why Nutritics Insight, part of DayMark Safety Systems’ new Gateway kitchen automation system, is planning to work with food manufacturers and others in the foodservice industry to provide front-of-package information. This will help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions, which is what Nutritics is all about.
This post is sponsored by DayMark Safety Systems