Consumers & Health Claims 2012


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This presentation has been provided by The International Life Sciences Institute, South East Asia branch, from their August 2012 seminar in Thailand.

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Consumers & Health Claims 2012

  1. 1. ILSI SEA Region Nutrition Labeling Seminar, Thailand, August 2012 ( _Region) Consumers and health claims Dr Josephine WillsDirector General, European Food Information Council, Brussels
  2. 2. European Food Information Council (EUFIC) Communicating science-based food information to health and nutrition professionals, educators, and journalists in a way that promotes consumer understandingFunding from agri-food chain, and European Commission (project basis) 2
  3. 3. Outline Background:  What is the penetration of nutrition and health claims in EU-27?  Do consumers look for them?  Nutrition and Health claims regulation and the consumer Results of literature review about how health claims affect consumers  Wills JM, Storcksdieck genannt Bonsmann S, Kolka M, Grunert KG (2012) European consumers and health claims: attitudes, understanding and purchasing behaviour. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 71, 229-236 3
  4. 4. Penetration of health claims in 5 product categories (yoghurt, sweet biscuits, soft drinks, breakfast cereals, ready meals) across the EU27 plus Turkey Health claims across categories BOP/FOP (FLABEL 2008-09) >37,000 products audited 100%% of all products audited 80% BOP = Back Of Pack FOP = Front Of Pack 60% 40% 20% 0% ov ly Po ry Fr ia Hu an y Sl urg Gr ia De a ria d k Es nd x e nia Tu i a Sw rus Sp l Au ta Re a in Ge ium Be ce a Po k ey Ro and ia er K Li de n Cy ia Fi ds ic Bu ce ga ar an ni r Ita an U tv ak al a en bl st an la n ee ua ng Lu to rtu nm p b rm nl M r lg La pu lg l la e m ov Ire m th Sl th Ne h ec Cz 4% average penetration of BOP health claims (range: 1-8%) 2% average penetration of FOP health claims (range: 0-6%) (Storcksdieck genannt Bonsmann et al. 2010) 4
  5. 5. Penetration of nutrition claims in 5 product categories across the EU27 plus Turkey (FLABEL 2008-09) >37,000 products audited 100% BOP = Back Of Pack% of all products audited 80% FOP = Front Of Pack 60% 40% 20% 0% Sp a en a Sw ly nd e d ze S l n i a Fi i n a pu a G K xe ium Fr r k Sl any Ir e al ia Tu ia er e H key Es r ia B nd B nia R d en C ds Po ry A s he urg La c t D stri Re aki ec ni G nc L i l an ru i Ita U al ug en tv a a bl ga la n ga a a to ua m re M yp m N mb r a Lu g nl r la e ch o v u ov om rt un el ul th Po et C 20% average penetration of BOP nutrition claims (range: 6-31%) 25% average penetration of FOP nutrition claims (range: 12-37%) (Storcksdieck genannt Bonsmann et al. 2010) 5
  6. 6. Information looked for on labels — % selecting often or always Thinking about the last 6 months, how often have you looked for the following information on food and drink packages? Whether suitable for vegetarians Allergen information Almost all respondents Ethical information claimed to have looked for Whether ingredients are organic price and use by date of Whether ingredients are GM products ‘always’ or ‘often’ Nutrition or health claims 25% and a quarter looked for Portion (serving) information nutrition or health claims Country of origin information. Additives contained Storage instructions Nutrition information 50% List of ingredients Cooking instructions Use by/Sell by/Best Before date PriceEUFIC (2011) consumer responseto portion information 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 % n=c.2186 per country, 6 countries: France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Sweden and UK 6
  7. 7. Nutrition & Health claims regulation Nutrition and health claims in Europe are regulated under European Commission Regulation 1924/2006  Aims to ensure fair competition & consumer protection  Claims must be truthful and should not attempt to mislead consumers REDUCTION OF DISEASE NUTRITION CLAIM HEALTH CLAIM RISK CLAIM “Spread enriched “Spread enriched with “Spread enriched withwith omega-3 fatty omega-3 fatty acids omega-3 fatty acids acids” can improve heart reduces risk in the health” development of cardio- vascular disease” (claims examples taken from Verbeke et al. 2009) 7
  8. 8. Nutrition & Health claims regulation An essential aspect of the legislation - Article 5.2 “The use of nutrition and health claims shall only be permitted if the average consumer can be expected to understand the beneficial effects as expressed in the claim.” (EC, 2007) An average consumer is defined as “reasonably well-informed and reasonably observant and circumspect, taking into account social, cultural and linguistic factors” (EC, 2007) 8
  9. 9. Nutrition & Health claims regulationRegulation 1924/2006 states (EC, 2007): “[…] the Authority [EFSA] shall verify: […] that the wording of the health claim complies with the criteria laid down in this Regulation.” Article 16.3b “In the event of an opinion in favour of authorising the health claim, the [EFSA] opinion shall include the following particulars: […] a proposal for the wording of the health claim, including, as the case may be, the specific conditions of use;” Article 16.4cHowever, “EFSA only gives proposals of wording, leaving the judgement of understanding by consumers as well as enforcement of Regulation 1924/2006 to the national Food Safety Authorities” (EFSA 2007; Verhagen et al. 2010) 9
  10. 10. Nutrition & Health claims regulation Literature on consumer understanding of (existing) claims is limited Regulation requires claims to be clear and comprehensible for consumers. Claims must also protect the consumer from being misled: a difficult balance in some cases “By 19 January 2013, a report should be submitted by the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the evolution of the market in foods where nutrition or health claims are made and on the consumers understanding of claims” (EC, 2007) 10
  11. 11. Nutrition & Health claims regulationRange of claims approved by EFSA:‘Simple’ claims: ”Sugar free chewing-gum helps maintain tooth mineralization” (Article 13.1) ”Protein contributes to children’s bone growth” (Article 14) ”Iodine contributes to normal growth in children” (Article 14)‘Complex’ claims: “Walnuts contribute to the improvement of endothelium-dependent vasodilation” (Article 13.1) “Water-soluble tomato concentrate helps maintain normal platelet aggregation” (Article 13.5)  Provexis proposed that its tomato extract; ‘helps to maintain a healthy blood flow and benefits circulation’, whereas EFSA argued that the scientific evidence only reflected the claim that it: ‘helps maintain normal platelet aggregation’ EC approval: “Helps maintain normal platelet aggregation, which contributes to healthy blood flow.“ “Cocoa flavanols help maintain endothelium-dependent vasodilation, which contributes to normal blood flow” (approved by EFSA July 2012) 11
  12. 12. Results: studies reviewedPapers included: 32 original research studies  cross-country studies (9)  studies undertaken in one country (23) 7 literature reviews 3 commissioned reports 12
  13. 13. Results Main determinants influencing attitudesProduct/Health Claim Attributes: Personal Characteristics: type of carrier product  familiarity and previous health claim ‘architecture’ experience  functional ingredient used  personal beliefs  components of health claim  personal relevance  type of benefit claimed  nutritional knowledge  framing  use of qualifiers  specific combination of the components other product attributes (e.g. Brand, taste etc.) 13
  14. 14. Results Type of carrier product Health claims tend to be perceived more positively on products with overall positive health image Examples:  bread vs. biscuits (Dean et al. 2007)  yoghurt vs. chocolate or soup (Siegrist et al. 2008)  bread or yoghurt vs. cake (Saba et al. 2010)  bread or yoghurt vs. pork products (Lahteenmaki et al. 2010)  brown bread and yoghurt (Williams et al. 2008) (for attractiveness and intention to try) vs. meat replacer, chewing gum 14
  15. 15. Results Type of carrier product- example Health claims perceived more positively on bread and pasta than on biscuitRelationship between type of benefit claimed(adding fibre, lowering cholesterol) and perceivedbenefit depends on type of carrier product (Dean et al, 2007) 15
  16. 16. Results Health claim architecture - examplePerception of health claims among Nordic consumers (Grunert et al. 2009)Web survey. Health claims in pairs. 4612 respondents indicated which claim (1) sounded better(2) was easier to understand (3) was more convincing. 108 claims, 15 pairs per respondent  Different ingredients  Different components (architecture) 1. Familiar (Omega-3) 1. function only 2. Unfamiliar (Bioactive peptides) 2. health benefit only 3. No ingredient 3. ingredient + function 4. ingredient + health benefit  Different health benefits 5. function + health benefit 1. Cardiovascular 6. ingredient + function + health benefit 2. Memory function 3. Weight management  Qualifier 1. with “may’  Framing (“ may promote cardiovascular health”) 1. positive (achieving something pos) 2. without 2. negative (avoiding something neg) (“promotes cardiovascular health”) 16
  17. 17. Results Health claim architecture functional ingredient used  claims with the familiar “omega-3” ingredient preferred over less known “bioactive peptides” components of health claim  two (equal) classes of consumers can be distinguished:  Those who prefer short messages (health benefit only)  Those who prefer more detailed information on health claims (all 3 components: ingredient + function + health benefit)  more exposure to health claims, positive attitude NORDIC STUDY, 4612 respondents (Grunert et al. 2009) 17
  18. 18. Results Health claim architecture type of benefit claimed & framing  for dementia and weight management, positively framed claims are preferred e.g. “increases the likelihood of good memory” vs. “reduces the risk of dementia”  for cardiovascular disease, the opposite e.g. “contains omega-3 which reduces risk of cardiovascular disease” preferred use of qualifiers  claims without “may” preferred over claims with this qualifier NORDIC STUDY, 4612 respondents (Grunert et al. 2009) 18
  19. 19. Results Other product attributesOther factors might have a greater Consumers more interested in healthinfluence on consumer behaviour Consumers less interested in their healthbrand Most important factor for both groups (health claim least) (Ares et al, 2010)Taste (data not shown) Consumers hardly willing to compromise on taste for health benefit (Sabbe et al. 2010; Vidigal et al. 2011; Verbeke et al. 2006) (Ares et al, 2010) 19
  20. 20. Results Main determinants influencing attitudesProduct/Health Claim Attributes: Personal Characteristics: type of carrier product  familiarity and previous health claim ‘structure’ experience  functional ingredient used  personal beliefs  components of health claim  personal relevance  type of benefit claimed  nutritional knowledge  framing  use of qualifiers  specific combination of the components other product attributes (e.g. brand, taste etc.) 20
  21. 21. Results Familiarity & previous experience Familiarity increases a positive attitude (Williams 2005; Urala 2005; Ares et al. 2009; Verbeke et al. 2009; Lahteenmaki et al. 2010; Stojanovic et al. 2010) Lahteenmaki et al. 2010 (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland)  products with better known functional ingredient “omega-3” perceived as more healthful than products containing unfamiliar “bioactive peptides” Presence of a familiar component yields almost as strong a reaction as naming the benefit as well 21
  22. 22. Results Familiarity - exampleA – ingredientB – ingredient + functionC – ingredient + function + health outcome Omega-3 Bioactive peptides A B C Products with health claims containing familiar ingredient omega-3 were perceived as more healthful compared to products with health claims containing bioactive peptides Perceived healthfulness of products with different claim types (Lahteenmaki et al. 2010) 22
  23. 23. Results Personal beliefsConsumers’ reactions to claims on products linkedto their own views about that product category  e.g. consumers with positive perceptions about dairy products in general were more willing to try products enriched with the milk ingredient “conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)” (Peng et al. 2006) 23
  24. 24. Results Personal relevance More positive attitude and increased acceptance of food products with health claims when  directly or indirectly affected by related condition  need to pay attention to own health ‘Eating cholesterol-lowering breadStronglyagree would be beneficial to me’ males females Both males and females who had to pay attention to their health perceived the cholesterol-lowering bread more positivelyStrongly Low Highdisagree Need to pay attention to health (Dean et al. 2007) 24
  25. 25. Quotes for personal beliefs & relevance“This is for people with health problems. I will try it when I am old” (Mother, 28)“Why should I try this? I have no problems with my bones yet.” (Mother, 33 )“I tried it before, it seems to improve my digestion.” (Retired, 62)“It is scientifically proven to be beneficial for health. There is research behind it.” (Engineer, 71)“It contains magnesium. Magnesium relaxes.” (Housewife, 58) (Stojanovic et al. 2010) 25
  26. 26. Results Impact of nutrition knowledge Lack of nutrition knowledge can limit consumers’ ability to understand or evaluate health claims, leading to lower perceived benefit or credibility (Ares et al. 2008) However, higher levels of nutrition knowledge also linked to less trust in health claims (Lalor et al. 2009) 26
  27. 27. Conceptual framework: how do health claims affect consumers PRODUCT (independent variables) CONSUMER  Food/drink category (dependent variables)  Format (i.e. which of the three below items is present in the claim) – IngredientUnderstanding Attitude to – Functionof the claim the claim – Benefit  Wording – Framing (positive or negative) – Qualifiers (e.g. use of “may”)  Functional ingredient Attitude to the product  Benefit claimed  Taste / sensory attributes Purchase intention CONSUMER (independent variables)  Personal beliefs  Personal relevance  Familiarity Purchase behaviour  Nutrition knowledge (Wills et al. 2012) 27
  28. 28. Conclusions Different types of health claims may have different effects depending on whether  they are relevant to the individual  familiar in terms of ingredient and/or benefit claimed  credibility of carrier food  consumers prefer simple wording or detailed explanations Overall, health claims seem to play only a minor role in food choices when contrasted with other factors such as taste and brand 28
  29. 29. Case study on evaluating consumer understanding Research focus: Consumer understanding of a health claim existing and advertised in the German market Health claim: “Actimel helps strengthening the body’s natural defences” Sample: 720 respondents from German web panel. Open ended Q“After seeing this pack and commercial, if you had to tell a friend whatActimel does, what would you say?”“And if you had to tell a friend how it works?” (Grunert et al. 2011) 29
  30. 30. Case study on evaluating consumer understanding – How much is enough?Percentage of respondents coded into three categories “safe”, “risky”, or“other”, depending on their understanding of the health claim 100% “safe” The statement is in line 80% with the scientific dossier “risky” 60% 67% The statement is not in line with the scientific 40% dossier “other” 20% The statement expressed is irrelevant with regard to the health claim 0% Safe Risky Other (Grunert et al. 2011) 30
  31. 31. CLYMBOL• “Role of health related CLaims and sYMBOLs in consumer behaviour” FP7 Small Collaborative Project Total budget: 3.8 Mio Euros (3 Mio European Commission funded) Start: September 1, 2012. Duration: 4 years 31
  32. 32. CLYMBOLCoordinator European Food Information Council BelgiumScientific Aarhus University DenmarkAdvisor University of Surrey UK University of Wageningen Netherlands University of Ghent Belgium Corvinus University, Budapest Hungary University of Saarland Germany University of Oxford UK University of Copenhagen Denmark Schuttelaar & Partners (Choices Int.) Belgium Swedish National Food Agency Sweden Aragon Government (CITA) Spain University of Ljubljana Slovenia Globus (Retailer) Germany 32
  33. 33. CLYMBOLObjectives of this project are to: Determine how health-related symbols and claims, in their context, are understood by consumers Assess how they affect purchasing and consumption  taking into account both individual differences in needs and wants and country-specific differences with regard to use of health claims and symbols Develop guidelines for EU policy concerning health-related symbols and claims Develop a set of methods to assess effects of health claims and symbols as these appear on the market 33
  34. 34. Real bottlenecks (findings from FLABEL) Product availability Label availability Lack of Lack of attention motivation Liking UnderstandingLabel formatConsistency No use 34
  35. 35. THANK YOU Dr Josephine Wills ( Prof Klaus Grunert ( MAPP, Centre for Research on Consumer Relations in the Food Sector, Aarhus University, DenmarkAcknowledgements and thanks to EUFIC staff:Dr Stefan Storcksdieck genannt Bonsmann, Dr Sophie Hieke, MagdalenaKolkaWills JM, Storcksdieck genannt Bonsmann S, Kolka M, Grunert KG (2012)European consumers and health claims: attitudes, understanding andpurchasing behaviour. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 71, 229-236