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The impact of the Nutri-Score nutrition label on perceived healthiness and purchase intentions

by Joyce De Temmerman, Eva Heeremans, Hendrik Slabbinck, Iris Vermeir


Making healthier food choices easier at the time of purchase is a challenge for public policy makers. The Nutri-Score can be an effective tool for guiding and steering consumers toward more informed, healthier purchasing decisions. This research investigates the impact of the presence of the Nutri-Score and its five categories on consumers’ perceived healthiness perceptions and purchase intentions. Consumers in the EU took part in two online experiments, in which they rated products from different categories, with or without Nutri-Scores, in terms of their perceived healthiness and purchase intentions. The presence of the Nutri-Score enabled respondents to assess the healthiness of products better; furthermore, it offers the potential to boost sales of healthy products, without affecting sales of unhealthy products. Perceived healthiness mediates the relationship between Nutri-Score categories and purchase intentions, and focusing on the healthiness of products can give producers a competitive advantage, regardless of whether it is a manufacturer brand or a private label. These findings offer actionable insights for public policy makers and manufacturers; they also suggest the need to embrace the Nutri-Score as the standard front-of-pack label to help fight the increasing obesity pandemic.

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