Consumer Utilization of Food Labeling as a Source of Nutrition Information

By Wang, Guijing; Fletcher, Stanley M. et al. | The Journal of Consumer Affairs, Winter 1995 | Go to article overview

Consumer Utilization of Food Labeling as a Source of Nutrition Information


Wang, Guijing, Fletcher, Stanley M., Carley, Dale H., The Journal of Consumer Affairs


Issues associated with food labeling are having a significant impact on the food industry (Henley 1992). Several researchers recently have focused on some of these issues. Caswell (1992) conducted a study on the current level of information on food labels. Among the over 850 brands of selected product categories, about 70 percent of brands carried nutrition labels in 1991. This percentage represented a sharp increase during the last decade. In a study by Heimbach and Stokes (1982), processed foods at retail level carrying nutrition labels were reported to be 40 percent in 1977 and 44 percent in 1979. Food labeling is considered an important food policy issue of the 1990s (Padberg 1992). If label information is more usable by consumers, society can greatly benefit from a public health perspective.

Focusing on consumer issues, Moorman (1990) contributed a comprehensive analysis on consumer utilization of nutrition information although she did not particularly address food labeling issues. She pointed out that effectively designed nutrition disclosures facilitate the utilization of nutrition information and that some consumer characteristics such as education affect the utilization. Bass (1991) conducted a study on consumer use of and satisfaction with food labels. She summarized her survey results and found that consumers indeed used food labels for various reasons with various satisfaction levels. Unfortunately, she did not carry out any further economic analysis. Burton and Biswas (1993) examined the effects of changes in labels required by the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA). Based on their survey sample of 343 nonstudent subjects 18 years of age or older, they concluded consumer attitudes and perceptions of nutrition and self-reported product purchase likelihood were strongly related to additional nutrition information recommended by the NLEA. Jensen and Kesavan (1993) investigated the relationships between nutrition information sources (television and other media) and consumption of dairy products. They found nutrition information affected consumer demand for foods. Navder (1993) contributed an overview of food and nutrition labeling. She pointed out that nutrition labels are the most used source of nutrition information and food labels should be more informative to consumers.

Although the mentioned studies shed some light on food labeling issues, research on consumer use of food labels is lacking (Capps 1992). Padberg (1992) also pointed out that little attention has been given to how and whether consumers use the information on food labels. To date, an econometric analysis of consumer utilization of food labeling using national level data has yet to be reported in the literature. Understanding why and how consumers utilize food labels is required in designing food labeling regulations, improving public health, and enhancing the profitability of the food industry (Lenahan et al. 1973).

In this study, the factors influencing consumer usage of food labels as a source of nutrition information are investigated using the 1987-1988 Nationwide Food Consumption Survey (NFCS) data. Economic analysis is carried out by a qualitative response model. Household socioeconomic characteristics are hypothesized to be the determinants of consumer usage of food labels because these characteristics may be associated with the benefits and costs of consumer information usage. Finally, the empirical results are reviewed and possible implications of the findings are discussed.

THE MODEL

A qualitative response model can be utilized in the analysis of consumer decisions of using food labels for nutrition information. This model arises from utility-maximizing behavior of individuals (Amemiya 1981). Consumers, the utility maximizers, make decisions on whether they use food labels for nutrition information based on the utility derived from their choices. The utility level derived from a choice depends on possible benefits and costs of consumer information search and usage (Stigler 1961). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Consumer Utilization of Food Labeling as a Source of Nutrition Information
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.