Purpose: This study aims to examine the effects of front-of-package (FoP) labels on the healthy evaluation of Peruvian consumers. This relationship was examined in cases where snacks were healthy and unhealthy. In addition, the study included the role of three consumer purchase objectives (i.e. hedonic, healthy and weight loss) and two types of consumers (high and low use of labelling) in the healthy evaluation. Design/methodology/approach: The sample consisted of 628 Peruvian youngsters aged between 16 and 24 years who frequently consume processed food. The research panel “QueOpinas” oversaw the recruitment of the participants through social media and television. Four types of FoP labels were studied in depth: Nutritional Warnings, Monochrome Guideline Daily Amount (GDA), Polychrome Guideline Daily Amount (GDA-Semaphore) and Traffic Light Labelling. A paired sample t-test and MANOVA were performed to evaluate the research objectives. Findings: The GDA FoP label was found to be insufficient to promote a healthy evaluation. In contrast, the Nutritional Warnings and GDA-Semaphore and Traffic Light FoP labels had a significant and positive effect on the healthy evaluation of the snacks at a 95% confidence level. However, a comparative analysis of the labels revealed that some can be more efficient than others in promoting healthy purchase decisions. For the nutritional warnings (NWs) and traffic light FoP labels, the results revealed that consumers better distinguish unhealthy and healthy cereal bars when these products display traffic light labels. Originality/value: This research topic has not been investigated in Peru and relevant research in this region is still incipient. In addition, the findings are important for policymakers as the findings will be able to implement specific labelling systems that will help consumers make healthier choices and support the debate about the effectiveness of the main FoP systems.
Schwalb Helguero, M., Pennano, C., Rodriguez Pena, G., Martínez-Fiestas, M., & Linares, F. (2023). How do front-of-package labels influence the healthy evaluation of consumers? British Food Journal, 125(8), 2858–2883. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-06-2022-0532