This study investigates Italian consumer knowledge and use of nutrition and health claims (NHCs). Six specific claims are examined on the basis of a web survey carried out on a sample of 504 consumers. Our results show that there is little attention to NHCs and their use is not widespread; objective knowledge of the selected claims is fairly scant, generating misinterpretation and confusion about their real meaning. K-means cluster analysis allowed us to identify three segments of consumers, characterized by different levels in attention and use frequency of NHCs, with a specific profile in terms of motivation and nutritional knowledge. Our results suggest the advisability of policy interventions and communication efforts which target the three segments with a view to achieving greater attention to NHCs. In conclusion, to boost knowledge concerning the actual meaning of the claims and their relation with a healthy diet, especially to reach non-users, information should be provided both simply and clearly, avoiding the use of complex scientific terminology.

Do consumers care about nutrition and health claims? Some evidence from Italy

Annunziata A.
;
Mariani A.
2019

Abstract

This study investigates Italian consumer knowledge and use of nutrition and health claims (NHCs). Six specific claims are examined on the basis of a web survey carried out on a sample of 504 consumers. Our results show that there is little attention to NHCs and their use is not widespread; objective knowledge of the selected claims is fairly scant, generating misinterpretation and confusion about their real meaning. K-means cluster analysis allowed us to identify three segments of consumers, characterized by different levels in attention and use frequency of NHCs, with a specific profile in terms of motivation and nutritional knowledge. Our results suggest the advisability of policy interventions and communication efforts which target the three segments with a view to achieving greater attention to NHCs. In conclusion, to boost knowledge concerning the actual meaning of the claims and their relation with a healthy diet, especially to reach non-users, information should be provided both simply and clearly, avoiding the use of complex scientific terminology.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11367/81529
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