What is it about?

Consumers may be misled by how information is presented on food packages. Unfortunately, regulations do not take into account what consumers perceive and how they can best be informed. While communication on health is strictly regulated, verbal claims in other domains are largely free. in addition, the way health claims need to be formulated, is not necessarily attractive for consumers. To support consumer decision making, legislators should not only provide rules and regulations that are formally correct, but also consider the effects a message and the way it is communicated (e.g., content, typeface, size, use of images, etc) may have on buyers. In addition, companies should take their responsibility and use this knowledge to inform consumers correctly.

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Why is it important?

Consumer deception through food packaging should be avoided, zo they can make the best choices for their personal health and for reducing their impact on the environment.


Although legislators try to protect consumer interests, the rules and laws they make do concur with how consumers process information. Therefore, the current rules are largely ineffective. Knowledge of consumer psychology should be used when designing such regulations.

Dr. Hendrik N.J. Schifferstein
Technische Universiteit Delft

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Conveying information through food packaging: A literature review comparing legislation with consumer perception, Journal of Functional Foods, November 2021, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.jff.2021.104734.
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