Researchers have found that the type of health claim on foods can be completely uncorrelated with actual nutritional quality yet these messages directly influence consumers’ expectations of healthiness and prompt their food choices. Across four studies, published in Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, researchers developed a classification framework for front-of-pack claims, established the disconnect between nutrition and the claims, and how the types of claim predict consumers’ choices. Pierre Chandon and his co-authors found that consumers expected the type of claim to be a strong predictor of the healthiness, taste and dieting properties of the products. None of the claims the researchers surveyed explicitly said the product would make people healthier or help them lose weight, yet consumers interpreted these claims as such and their perceptions influenced their choices
Lightbulb Moment: If there ever was a shot across the bough for food companies – this is it. But it typically would not be consumers themselves who call out misleading claims but larger interest groups that speak on consumer’s behalf. Wondering what adversaries and allies you may be facing? That’s where Culinary Tides, Inc. comes in.