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Packaged food labels influence purchase decisions, says survey

By Retail4Growth Bureau | September 06, 2022

An online survey report released by the Institute for Governance, Policies & Politics (IGPP), shows that 91.4% people support inclusion of front of pack warning label on packaged food items to help make healthier choices.

FMCG brands may well start focusing more on their packaging design.  A recent release by the Institute for Governance, Policies & Politics (IGPP), a think tank dedicated for public policy research and analysis, cites an online poll conducted recently, in which overall, 91.4% respondents favoured consumer friendly ‘Front of Package Labelling (FOPL)’ on packaged food items and it appears that FOPL is a simple, yet important tool that can help consumers make healthier food choices.  

The poll results show that ‘high-in’ warning labels is most preferred by the consumers. Such warning labels are considered most simple and easy to read FOPL design. In this arrangement, if the packaged food contains high amount of fat, salt or sugar, then 'high-in fat/salt/sugar' should be clearly and prominently written on the top (front) of the packet.

More than twenty thousand respondents participated in this online poll which threw timely insights on consumer choice as Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is slated to release the much-awaited draft regulation on food labels. 

When asked if they would feel safer if the packaged foods contained simple warning labels indicating fat, salt, and sugar levels higher than the limits prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO), an overwhelming 99% of the respondents said ‘Yes’. Additionally, over 95% people want food packets to have warning labels that clearly indicate the levels of fat, salt, and sugar. It may be noted that the WHO has prescribed the scientific limits of fats, sugar, and salt in packaged foods to safeguard the health of consumers.

The week-long online poll that was conducted between 2nd and 6th July 2022 garnered 22,647 responses and the results demonstrate a strong public support in favour of correct FOPL. Questions were asked in English and Hindi from verified Twitter handles.

FOPL is a simple, yet important tool that can help consumers make healthier food choices. Manish Tiwari, Director, Institute for Governance Policies and Politics (IGPP), observed, “The objective of these clear warning labels on processed food packets is to inform consumers about the content of sugar, sodium and saturated fat that can help discourage consumption of unhealthy food items.”

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