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Open AccessArticle

Making Sense of Information Overload: Consumer Ranking of Nutritional Claims in Cereal Based Products

Unidad de Economía Agroalimentaria y de los Recursos Naturales, Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA), 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón—IA2, CITA-Universidad de Zaragoza, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), 41092 Seville, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2858;
Received: 6 November 2019 / Accepted: 14 November 2019 / Published: 21 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Choice and Health-Related Claims)
As a result of increased consumer awareness, demand for healthier food products is increasing day by day. Consumers seek healthier versions of food products which they relate to reduced presence of unhealthy components or increased presence of healthy ones. As a result, the food industry has not only increased the variety of products available but also uses nutritional claims to signal the presence of more substances. As an average consumer at the supermarket devotes just a few seconds to selecting each product, they are only able or willing to process that information that immediately attracts their attention or that is felt to be more important to them. This paper analyses how consumers rank different nutritional claims for two processed cereal products. Five claims were chosen to reflect the current market landscape of availability, and that relates to both “healthy” (i.e., fiber) and “unhealthy” (i.e., fat) substances. We use a direct ranking preference method with data from a survey conducted with consumers in a Spanish region in 2017. Results show that the ranking of claims differs between the two products (biscuits and pastries) and across consumers. However, consumers prefer those that show reduced presence of unhealthy substances above those that highlight the presence of healthy ones. Therefore, policy to maximize the impact of nutritional labelling should be product-specific. View Full-Text
Keywords: consumer preferences; nutritional labels; biscuits; pastries; Aragón consumer preferences; nutritional labels; biscuits; pastries; Aragón
MDPI and ACS Style

Gracia, A.; Barreiro-Hurlé, J. Making Sense of Information Overload: Consumer Ranking of Nutritional Claims in Cereal Based Products. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2858.

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