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Consumer Preferences for Detailed versus Summary Formats of Nutrition Information on Grocery Store Shelf Labels

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  • Berning Joshua P

    (Washington State University)

  • Chouinard Hayley H

    (Washington State University)

  • McCluskey Jill J

    (Washington State University)

Abstract

The health-related problems caused by poor diet choices has elevated the policy importance of how to communicate nutrition information more effectively to consumers at the point of purchase. At the same time, food retailers want to provide their customers with nutrition information in the format their shoppers prefer. The shopping environment, which includes the provision of nutrition information, is a way that food retailers can differentiate themselves from the competition. In this article, we present a simple model of the demand for nutrition information and empirically evaluate consumer preferences for two different formats. We compare nutrition information on grocery store shelf labels in the Greater San Francisco Area presented in detailed and summary formats. The detailed nutrition information provides an explicit description of specific nutrients but may be more costly to process and difficult to understand. Summary nutrition information reduces processing effort but provides a condensed description of nutritional content. The results indicate that there are higher mean preferences for detailed nutrition labels but also a greater dispersion of preferences. Nutrition-conscious consumers are more likely to prefer detailed information. The summary format may benefit shoppers who are less likely to use other forms of information.

Suggested Citation

  • Berning Joshua P & Chouinard Hayley H & McCluskey Jill J, 2008. "Consumer Preferences for Detailed versus Summary Formats of Nutrition Information on Grocery Store Shelf Labels," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-22, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bjafio:v:6:y:2008:i:1:n:6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wim Verbeke, 2005. "Agriculture and the food industry in the information age," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 347-368, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Costanigro, Marco & Deselnicu, Oana & Kroll, Stephan, 2012. "Truthful, Misguiding Labels: The Implications of Labeling Production Processes rather than their Outcomes," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124615, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Balcombe, Kelvin & Fraser, Iain & Falco, Salvatore Di, 2010. "Traffic lights and food choice: A choice experiment examining the relationship between nutritional food labels and price," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 211-220, June.
    3. Yang, Shang-Ho & Woods, Timothy A., 2013. "Assessing Consumer Willingness to Pay for Ground Bison Given Nutrition Information," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 143079, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Melo, Grace & Zhen, Chen, 2017. "The Impact of NuVal Shelf Nutrition Labels on Consumption: Evidence from Cold Cereal Purchases," 2017 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2017, Mobile, Alabama 253080, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. Ellison, Brenna D. & Lusk, Jayson L. & Davis, David W., 2012. "Effect of Menu Labeling on Caloric Intake and Restaurant Revenue in Full-Service Restaurants," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 123325, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Chen Zhu & Rigoberto A. Lopez & Xiaoou Liu, 2016. "Information Cost and Consumer Choices of Healthy Foods," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 98(1), pages 41-53.
    7. Melo, Grace & Zhen, Chen, 2017. "The Impact of NuVal Shelf Nutrition Labels on Consumption: Evidence from Cold Cereal Purchases," 2017 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2017, Mobile, Alabama 252442, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    8. Tonsor, Glynn T. & Wolf, Christopher A., 2011. "On mandatory labeling of animal welfare attributes," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 430-437, June.
    9. Kelvin Balcombe & Iain Fraser, 2009. "A General Treatment of Non-Response Data From Choice Experiments Using Logit Models," Studies in Economics 0916, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    10. Ellison, Brenna & Lusk, Jayson L. & Davis, David, 2014. "The Effect of Calorie Labels on Caloric Intake and Restaurant Revenue: Evidence from Two Full-Service Restaurants," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 173-191, May.
    11. Heng, Yan & Peterson, Hikaru Hanawa & Li, Xianghong, 2016. "Consumer Responses to Multiple and Superfluous Labels in the Case of Eggs," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 47(2), July.
    12. Liu, Xiaoou & Lopez, Rigoberto & Zhu, Chen, 2015. "Can Voluntary Nutrition Labeling Lead to a Healthier Food Market?," 2016 Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) Annual Meeting, January 3-5, 2016, San Francisco, California 212818, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    13. Melo, Grace, 2017. "The Impact of NuVal Shelf Nutrition Labels on Consumption: Evidence from Cold Cereal Purchases," 2017 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2017, Mobile, Alabama 252421, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

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