Impact of Health-Related Claims on the Perception of Other Product Attributes
Posted: 11 May 2011
Date Written: May 4, 2011
New EU legislation (EU Regulation 1924/2006) will allow a number of nutrition and health claims in food products. The objective of this research was to study how health claims affect consumers’ perception of other product attributes. A survey with a total of 4612 respondents from the Nordic countries explored consumers’ perceptions of attractiveness, healthiness, naturalness, tastiness and ability to reduce risk of disease by comparing ratings of products with and without health claims. Used claims varied in their benefit, active ingredient, claim structure and framing. The results showed that health claims had a moderate but mostly negative impact on the perception of other product attributes; the most significant impact was decrease in perceived naturalness. Consumers could also interpret the benefits in claims as intended. The wording of the claim had only small impact on the perception of the products, whereas earlier market presence of the ingredient had a large impact: differences among the Nordic countries reflected the previous exposure to health claims. The findings from this study suggest that consumers do not imply other health benefits from health claims and the health claim per se is not likely to cause any unrealistic positive inferences in perceived product quality.
Keywords: Health claim, Healthiness, Product quality, Product attributes, Consumer, Attitude, Food choice
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