1660240690808 Chileanfoodsymbols

Study: Front-Pack Symbols Affect Buying

April 8, 2022
Front-of-package symbols appear to have had an effect on breakfast cereal consumers in Chile, prompting them toward healthier products.

Front-of-package symbols appear to have had an effect on breakfast cereal consumers in Chile, prompting them toward healthier products, according to new research.

The study, by an American and an Israeli researcher, looked at consumption patterns in Chile, the country with the most advanced front-of-pack warning label system. In 2016,

Chile mandated symbols for food products with high levels of sugar, saturated fat, sodium and calories. The symbols are octogonal, like stop signs, and the warnings read “Alto en [nutrient]”; the Spanish word alto means both “high” and “stop.”

The researchers focused on breakfast cereal, using hand-collected data from two Chilean stores, plus sales data from Nielsen and Mintel. They found that in the first two years of the front-of-pack mandate, market share for cereals that exceeded the calorie guidelines fell by about 12% to 18%, and for those that exceeded the sugar guidelines, by about 3% to 7%.

The study also detected changes to Chilean cereals’ nutrition profiles in the wake of the new law. “Assortments changed after the labeling law went into effect because breakfast cereal manufacturers adjusted their product offerings,” it says. “For example, Nestlé introduced a reformulated version of its top-selling cereal product, Chocapic, that is lower in calories and sugar.”

The study found a tendency by manufacturers to reformulate their cereals so that they wouldn’t have to carry the label warnings. These reforms collectively amounted to 17 fewer calories and 1.3g less of sugar per serving. Manufacturers as a whole practiced “bunching in the distribution of calorie and sugar content of cereals just below the 2016 thresholds,” the report says.

The study, “Beyond Consumer Switching: Supply Responses to Food Packaging and Advertising Regulations,” was published in the Informs journal Marketing Science.

Sponsored Recommendations

Learn About: Micro Motion™ 4700 Config I/O Coriolis Transmitter

An Advanced Transmitter that Expands Connectivity

Micro Motion™ G-Series Coriolis Flow and Density Meter

Micro Motion G-Series: market-leading compact design featuring advanced process diagnostic capability.

Embracing Sustainability using Advanced Measurement Instrumentation

A practical guide to greeningyour brewing operationsusing advanced measurementinstrumentation.

Get Hands-On Training in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment

Enhance the training experience and increase retention by training hands-on in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment. Build skills here so you have them where and when it matters...