Food labeling is one of the most important and direct means of product information exchange between buyers and sellers, and one of the tools that assist people in choosing food products. It contains various details about the food value of the food. These details include the availability of sizes, lots of calories, grams of fat, nutrients and a list of active ingredients. By providing the necessary information about packaged foods, it is desirable to help consumers make healthy, correct food choices. At the same time, food labels can also be considered as potentially powerful tools of nutrition communication.
Three types of potential tags use determinants by Rebecca Hess, person’s social population, and economic background, firstly. Health-related aspects, secondly. Factors that prevent people from using food labels, lastly.
Consumers at different ages prefer pre-packaged foods, and most people who buy pre-packaged foods say that except for perishable foods such as fruits and vegetables because they believe the quantity, weight, and quality are guaranteed by the authorities, Adulteration or virtual least likely.
While food labeling will undoubtedly encourage healthy diets, progress in developing countries is less evolutionary and is still undergoing predicament. The main factor responsible behind this is that displaying the food labels cannot merely demonstrate consumers to make informed purchase decisions. According to an Indian survey about five years ago many food packaging markets in India were simply marked with the product name, the manufacturer’s name, and address, the quantity, composition and expiration date of the product in the package. However, almost all pre-packaged foods in developed countries must have a mandatory declaration of nutrients. Under current regulations, the following nutrient information must be displayed per serving or 100 g / mL of food: Energy (kcal); Carbohydrate (g); Total Sugar (g); Sugared Sugar (g); Total Fat Fat (g); trans fats (g); and cholesterol (mg). It also shows that every country in every country places emphasis on people’s food quality issues and their maximization of choice.
Interestingly enough, many researchers as Anna-Maria，Michael Siegrist and Sudershan R Vemula have shed limelight regarding consumer’s nutritional knowledge, that only a third of consumers checked nutrition information and ingredient lists. Among their participants, they identified that only educated people and young people consider nutrition labels as their primary factor for making a purchase decision. Furthermore, there are other situational factors under consideration such as family class and values that determine the role of food nutrition labels among individuals. However, it cannot be ruled out despite such situational factors educated people eventually understand and quickly distinguish the benefits and importance of nutrition labels in packaged foods. Hence, we cannot merit the link between education or income and the degree of use of labels since adequate people despite being educated affluent and young do not evaluate nutrition problems and single out taste as the most important criterion for product selection. Thus, the inference is people have individual speculation that guides them to seek for nutritional knowledge or to avoid it.
In several studies, it has been found that preconception is also responsible for the demand and application of food labels. For instance, people with special diet sought to think that there is an inseparable relationship between diet and illness, and are more inclined towards information on nutrition, dietary guidelines and additives. As another example, second type people who eat at will thinks that there is no hidden relationship between diet and illness. Thirdly, the last group of people opines that one should not control their food intake until they go through physical activity to stimulates the bodily requirement. Hence, even though overeating and eating a single food often burdens human body and will deficit organs from proper nutrition people’s perspective regarding food is differing. The experimental result of Anna-Maria Saarela is a very good example where she divided people into four different levels. The group includes a low-energy reduction group, defined as ERlow group (minimum 25%) and high energy reduction ERhigh group (up to 25%). In addition, two other groups considered in detail: 10 subjects (10-17%) with the least energy reduction and 10 (30-46%) with the most energy reduction. In general, ERlow group tends to focus on the nutritional issues in both options. Members of the ER-low group have more time to read the nutrition label to select the product than the ER-high group. However, in weight management options, while the ERhigh group tends to spend more time on product selection, there is no statistically significant difference from the ERlow group (Table 1). Also, they attempted to purchase the selected product “always” (71% of subjects) or “often” (8%). This also shows that even the buying power is also heavily dependent on their familiarity with the product. The inference is that the customers are more familiar with the product which dictates more accurate assessment of its energy content when accompanied by the nutrition label. Furthermore, nutrition knowledge seems to be mostly obtained through experimentation, as consumers become more familiar with the product. Thus, the consumer’s understanding of the energy content of the product depends on their skill and ability to interpret the information in a real environment.
The study also found that members of the ERlow group tended to choose products with lower energy content, while members of the ERhigh group tended to choose those with higher energy content. It is further shown that members of the low-income group in the ERlow group tend to do more weight-loss attempts at home during the life-course than those who belong to the high-middle-income group of ERhigh. However, there was no difference in BMI between ERhigh groups and ERlow groups. The results of the survey show that nutrition knowledge is related to individual factors and choice goals. When choosing a food, it doesn’t have to be sustainable. Individuals have a variety of interactive food selection criteria, and in many cases, the effects of nutrient quality will be surpassed by other standards, such as the price or taste of products in real life.
The findings also show that nutritional knowledge is associated with personal and choice goals which assimilate that continuous choice of food cannot interpret appropriate standard for making the sound choice. Since individuals have a wide variety of interactive food selection criteria, and in many cases, the impact of nutritional quality will be exceeded by other criteria such as the price or taste of the product in real life. For example, if we contemplate a real-life scenario like the EU which has recently paid special attention to the exchange of nutrition information in the hope of increasing consumers’ understanding of nutrition data displayed on food packaging. There are always some consumers who do not have time or interest to read the nutritional aspects of packaging because other factors dominate, such as the taste of the food being picked. Consumers of almost all ages have suggested increasing the font size on the label to increase the visibility of the information. In addition, location-specific display of tag information and symbol-based tags is considered as some possible options to make food tags easy to understand. Some of them also suggest that you try to label “healthy” or “unhealthy” pre-packaged foods with “symbols” or hologram based food labels.