Special Issue "Food Labeling: Analysis, Understanding, and Perception"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Daniela Martini E-Mail
Human Nutrition Unit, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Parma, Italy
Interests: food labeling; food regulation; bioactive compounds; oxidative stress
Guest Editor
Prof. Davide Menozzi E-Mail
Department of Food and Drugs, University of Parma, Italy
Interests: consumer behavior; food choices and willingness to pay; economic sustainability of agri-food chains

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food labels are a tool to promote public health by providing information which allows consumers to make informed dietary choices. At the same time, food labels may represent a marketing tool and may influence consumers’ perception of food quality.
This Special Issue welcomes original research and reviews of literature focusing on:

  • The analysis of the nutrient profile of products with different characteristics reported on the food labels (including but not limited to nutrition and health claims, organic, gluten-free);
  • The nutrient profile underlying FOP nutrition labels and their graphical design in different countries;
  • The consumers’ perception, knowledge and understanding of the information made on food;
  • The impact of information on food labeling (e.g., front-of-pack information, serving size) on consumers’ willingness to pay and food choice;
  • The attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, behavioral, and socioeconomic determinants regarding the use of food labels.

Dr. Daniela Martini
Prof. Davide Menozzi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • food label
  • nutrition and health claims
  • gluten free
  • organic
  • nutrition declaration
  • food choice
  • consumer behavior
  • consumer attitude
  • willingness to pay
  • consumer perception
  • food decision making
  • food packaging

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Consumers’ Perceptions of Five Front-of-Package Nutrition Labels: An Experimental Study Across 12 Countries
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1934; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081934 - 16 Aug 2019
Abstract
Consumers’ perceptions of five front-of-pack nutrition label formats (health star rating (HSR), multiple traffic lights (MTL), Nutri-Score, reference intakes (RI) and warning label) were assessed across 12 countries (Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, the UK and the USA). [...] Read more.
Consumers’ perceptions of five front-of-pack nutrition label formats (health star rating (HSR), multiple traffic lights (MTL), Nutri-Score, reference intakes (RI) and warning label) were assessed across 12 countries (Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, the UK and the USA). Perceptions assessed included liking, trust, comprehensibility, salience and desire for the label to be mandatory. A sample of 12,015 respondents completed an online survey in which they rated one of the five (randomly allocated) front-of-pack labels (FoPLs) along the perception dimensions described above. Respondents viewing the MTL provided the most favourable ratings. Perceptions of the other FoPLs were mixed or neutral. No meaningful or consistent patterns were observed in the interactions between country and FoPL type, indicating that culture was not a strong predictor of general perceptions. The overall ranking of the FoPLs differed somewhat from previous research assessing their objective performance in terms of enhancing understanding of product healthiness, in which the Nutri-Score was the clear front-runner. Respondents showed a strong preference for mandatory labelling, regardless of label condition, which is consistent with past research showing that the application of labels across all products leads to healthier choices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Labeling: Analysis, Understanding, and Perception)
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Open AccessArticle
Consumers’ Responses to Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labelling: Results from a Sample from The Netherlands
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1817; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081817 - 06 Aug 2019
Abstract
Front-of-pack labels (FoPLs) are efficient tools for helping consumers identify healthier food products. Although discussions on nutritional labelling are currently ongoing in Europe, few studies have compared the effectiveness of FoPLs in European countries, including the Netherlands. This study aimed to compare five [...] Read more.
Front-of-pack labels (FoPLs) are efficient tools for helping consumers identify healthier food products. Although discussions on nutritional labelling are currently ongoing in Europe, few studies have compared the effectiveness of FoPLs in European countries, including the Netherlands. This study aimed to compare five FoPLs among Dutch participants (the Health Star Rating (HSR) system, Multiple Traffic Lights (MTL), Nutri-Score, Reference Intakes (RIs), and Warning symbols) in terms of perception and understanding of the labels and food choices. In 2019, 1032 Dutch consumers were recruited and asked to select one product from among a set of three foods with different nutritional profiles, and then rank the products within the sets according to their nutritional quality. These tasks were performed with no label and then with one of the five FoPLs on the package, depending on the randomization arm. Finally, participants were questioned on their perceptions regarding the label to which they were exposed. Regarding perceptions, all FoPLs were favorably perceived but with only marginal differences between FoPLs. While no significant difference across labels was observed for food choices, the Nutri-Score demonstrated the highest overall performance in helping consumers rank the products according to their nutritional quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Labeling: Analysis, Understanding, and Perception)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Consumer Understanding, Perception and Interpretation of Serving Size Information on Food Labels: A Scoping Review
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2189; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11092189 - 11 Sep 2019
Abstract
The increase in packaged food and beverage portion sizes has been identified as a potential factor implicated in the rise of the prevalence of obesity. In this context, the objective of this systematic scoping review was to investigate how healthy adults perceive and [...] Read more.
The increase in packaged food and beverage portion sizes has been identified as a potential factor implicated in the rise of the prevalence of obesity. In this context, the objective of this systematic scoping review was to investigate how healthy adults perceive and interpret serving size information on food packages and how this influences product perception and consumption. Such knowledge is needed to improve food labelling understanding and guide consumers toward healthier portion size choices. A search of seven databases (2010 to April 2019) provided the records for title and abstract screening, with relevant articles assessed for eligibility in the full-text. Fourteen articles met the inclusion criteria, with relevant data extracted by one reviewer and checked for consistency by a second reviewer. Twelve studies were conducted in North America, where the government regulates serving size information. Several studies reported a poor understanding of serving size labelling. Indeed, consumers interpreted the labelled serving size as a recommended serving for dietary guidelines for healthy eating rather than a typical consumption unit, which is set by the manufacturer or regulated in some countries such as in the U.S. and Canada. Not all studies assessed consumption; however, larger labelled serving sizes resulted in larger self-selected portion sizes in three studies. However, another study performed on confectionary reported the opposite effect, with larger labelled serving sizes leading to reduced consumption. The limited number of included studies showed that labelled serving size affects portion size selection and consumption, and that any labelled serving size format changes may result in increased portion size selection, energy intake and thus contribute to the rise of the prevalence of overweight and obesity. Research to test cross-continentally labelled serving size format changes within experimental and natural settings (e.g., at home) are needed. In addition, tailored, comprehensive and serving-size-specific food literacy initiatives need to be evaluated to provide recommendations for effective serving size labelling. This is required to ensure the correct understanding of nutritional content, as well as informing food choices and consumption, for both core foods and discretionary foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Labeling: Analysis, Understanding, and Perception)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Author: Simon Pettigrew
Email: [email protected]
Affiliation: School of Psychology, Curtin University, Kent St, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia.  
Tentative title: The effects of varying front-of-pack nutrition labels on food product assessment and choice in Australia.

Author: Luke Gemming and Anna Rangan
Email: [email protected]
Affiliation: Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.                  
Tentative Title: Labelling strategies and nutrient profile of products sold in health food stores compared to supermarkets.

Author: Moira Dean and Tony Benson
Email: [email protected]
Affiliation: Consumer Psychology & Food Security-Queen’s University Belfast, Institute for Global Food Security, Biological Sciences, Belfast, Northern Ireland.      
Tentative title: An experiment to investigate the effects of nutrition and health claims on consumer’s portion size selection.
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