March 7, 2014 2:33 am
A new poll from Heart+Mind Strategies shows the single-most beneficial change to the nutrition label to be a radical design change as opposed to what information is shared. Nearly one third of Americans (32 percent) reported creating a star or check system for each food (where more stars means a healthier food) would be the most beneficial to them personally.
Additionally, some of the least beneficial changes involve the new nutrition label, such as the increased emphasis on calories and revised serving size calculations. Full ranking of the changes tested for the poll follows:
• Creating a star or check system for each food (32 percent)
• Separating good fats from bad fats (19 percent)
• Ditching the metric system (14 percent)
• Separating out natural sugar from added sugar (14 percent)
• Calculations based on larger serving sizes (12 percent)
• Enhanced focus on calories (7 percent)
• Listing added wheat (3 percent)
Notably, all changes tested in the poll were public recommendations by a variety of experts, organizations, and individuals.
"People are always looking for a quick, reliable way to digest a lot of complex information," said Heart+Mind Strategies CEO Dee Allsop, Ph.D. and research consultant on two government labeling projects. "In point-of-sale environments from the car dealership to the grocery aisle, a picture really is worth a thousand words and enhances consumer confidence in the decision-making process."
According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, more than 60 percent of Americans use the nutrition fact label when deciding to purchase food. Yet Heart+Mind Strategies found just over one-quarter (28 percent) report the nutrition label as being the most important decision-making influencer when buying food—taste is the leader (39 percent) and price just barely trails nutrition (26 percent).
When it comes to food and diet in general, Americans are predominantly focused on what they put in their bodies (70 percent) as opposed to what they keep out (30 percent). And more than half the country (53 percent) considers themselves the best judge on whether or not a food is right or wrong for them. Importantly, the nutrition label has the second most influence on that diagnosis (41 percent), while a doctor's recommendations bear relatively little weight on that decision at all (6 percent).
People are making food choices in a broad range of settings every day, from a grocery store or vending machine to restaurants or their own homes. Whether looking for something convenient, filling, or quick, there is always competition. The new nutrition label must not only be easy to understand, but easy to see (from say behind the vending machine glass or top shelf of the store), and quickly comparable to other choices.
Source: Heart+Mind Strategies
Published with permission from RISMedia.