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Nutritional labelling information: Utilisation of new technologies

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The increase in food-related diseases in society has led to a variety of public policy and private sector initiatives, such as the use of nutritional labels. Although nutritional labels have been shown to be broadly effective in terms of informing food choice, their influence is moderated by a variety of factors, such as how information is conveyed and processed by consumers. Recent advances in technology might overcome these limitations. Using a choice experiment, this paper examines consumer preferences for alternative technological devices that may aid consumer processing of nutritional information on food packaging. The results show which attributes of the technology consumers prefer, and identifies three distinct segments of consumers (‘information hungry innovators’, ‘active label readers’, and ‘onlookers’), and differences between them in relation to their preferences, demographics, and psychographic characteristics. The identification of segments is a novel aspect of this research, and highlights the importance of finding more customised solutions to the communication of nutritional information – an issue to which technology can contribute.

Keywords: labelling; nutritional information; segments; technology

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2013.798673

Affiliations: University of Kent, UK

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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