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European Union - Conveying information through food packaging: a literature review comparing legislation with consumer perception

European Union

Sep 15, 2021

Although governments have implemented regulations to inform consumers on important product properties and protect consumers from deceptive information, empirical research on how consumers perceive, interpret and experience food packages have shown frequently that consumers may be misled by how information is presented and packages are designed. While communication in some domains is strictly regulated (health), claims in other domains are largely free (nature) and do not require substantiation. Subtleties in wording, image use and image style may affect the impressions consumers form. To support consumer decision making, legislators should not only provide rules and regulations that are formally correct, but also consider the effects a message and the way it is communicated (e.g., content, typeface, size, use of images, stylistic features) may have on buyers. While it may be unclear how best to support desirable behaviours, companies that take social responsibility can build on our work to develop their strategy.

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