The effect of indulgent and healthy-outcome food labelling of healthy and unhealthy products on student’s perception.

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Eating healthy is an important topic that students should adapt because of the beneficial effects on their body and study results. To see if it is possible to influence students’ perception about food products by modifying food package labels an experiment was designed. Dutch students were exposed to healthy and unhealthy food products with neutral (= describing the product without evaluation), indulgent (= using sensory words) and healthy-outcome labels (= stating the health outcomes of consuming). Within the experiment expected tastiness, desirability and purchase intention regarding those products were measured. Furthermore, liking of the product, consumption frequency, hunger level and living situation were considered to see if those factors interacted with the product type (healthy or unhealthy) and labels. The results showed that unhealthy products were expected to be tastier, desired more and people intended to buy those more than healthy products. However, no effect of labelling was found. Furthermore, liking and consumption frequency were shown to affect expected tastiness, desirability and purchase intention. Higher liking or consumption frequency resulted in higher expected tastiness, desirability and purchase intention. Professionals can take advantage of the knowledge that different labels do not have different effects when designing product packages.
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