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Journal cover: Nutrition & Food Science

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Online from: 1971

Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare

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French consumers' use of nutrition labels

Document Information:
Title:French consumers' use of nutrition labels
Author(s):Ashley Mannell, (James Madison University, Richmond, Virginia, USA), Patricia Brevard, (Department of Health Sciences, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA), Rodolfo Nayga, Jr, (Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA), Pierre Combris, (Institut National de Recherche Agronomique, Ivry-sur-Seine, France), Robert Lee, (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA), Janet Gloeckner, (Department of Health Sciences, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA)
Citation:Ashley Mannell, Patricia Brevard, Rodolfo Nayga, Jr, Pierre Combris, Robert Lee, Janet Gloeckner, (2006) "French consumers' use of nutrition labels", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 36 Iss: 3, pp.159 - 168
Keywords:France, Labelling, Nutrition
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/00346650610664896 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – To survey consumers living in Paris, France, to determine the extent to which they use nutrition labels, and to determine the percentage of French consumers who use nutrition labels, how often they use nutrition labels, and how they would like to see current nutrition labels improved. The researchers also wanted to determine the reasons why consumers do not use nutrition labels, and to try and assess users' and non-users' perceptions about mandatory nutrition labelling.

Design/methodology/approach – French consumers (n ?=? 355) were surveyed in supermarkets in Paris and its suburbs, using a 21-item questionnaire in May 2004. Interviewers used questionnaires to assess the frequency of respondents' nutrition label use, to investigate the specific nutrient information most commonly consulted on nutrition labels, the types of products on which consumers most often tend to consult nutrition labels, and to collect demographic information.

Findings – Only 45.1 per cent of the sample reported reading nutrition labels, with the majority of consumers reading labels only occasionally. Non-label readers cited lack of interest as the primary reason why they do not read labels, but 95 per cent of the sample, when asked about mandatory nutrition labeling, felt that nutrition labeling should be required of food manufacturers.

Research limitations/implications The sample size was small, participation was voluntary and was limited to the city of Paris and its suburbs, and therefore cannot be generalized to the French population.

Originality/value – This is the first study to collect data in a point-of-purchase setting in order to examine whether or not French consumers use nutrition labels.

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