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The impact of front-of-pack marketing attributes versus nutrition and health information on parents' food choices

journal contribution
posted on 01.09.2017, 00:00 authored by Georgie RussellGeorgie Russell, Paul F Burke, David S Waller, Edward Wei
Front-of-pack attributes have the potential to affect parents' food choices on behalf of their children and
form one avenue through which strategies to address the obesogenic environment can be developed.
Previous work has focused on the isolated effects of nutrition and health information (e.g. labeling
systems, health claims), and how parents trade off this information against co-occurring marketing
features (e.g. product imagery, cartoons) is unclear. A Discrete Choice Experiment was utilized to understand
how front-of-pack nutrition, health and marketing attributes, as well as pricing, influenced
parents' choices of cereal for their child. Packages varied with respect to the two elements of the
Australian Health Star Rating system (stars and nutrient facts panel), along with written claims, product
visuals, additional visuals, and price. A total of 520 parents (53% male) with a child aged between five and
eleven years were recruited via an online panel company and completed the survey. Product visuals,
followed by star ratings, were found to be the most significant attributes in driving choice, while written
claims and other visuals were the least significant. Use of the Health Star Rating (HSR) system and other
features were related to the child's fussiness level and parents' concerns about their child's weight with
parents of fussy children, in particular, being less influenced by the HSR star information and price. The
findings suggest that front-of-pack health labeling systems can affect choice when parents trade this
information off against marketing attributes, yet some marketing attributes can be more influential, and
not all parents utilize this information in the same way.







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Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, Elsevier