Increased sales with the clarity of food labels

There has been ample discussion in recent years regarding the quantifiable impact of food labelling on sales and consumer satisfaction. The intensity of debate regarding this issue is not insignificant. In countries around the world, food labelling reform h as been discussed in governmental chambers and by activist groups on a near monthly basis. In what will likely be perceived as a significant boost to those advocating for increased transparency in food l a- be lling, a recent study has revealed that food labels which emphasise clarity and accessibi l- ity have been linked with improved sales. It is important to note here that ‘ clarity ’ as defined by the study in question did, in no way, reflect the health or nutritional content of the food in question. Instead, the focus of this pa r- ticular assessment was on legibility, and graphic clarity. Test participants wer e shown a v a- riety of labels and asked to rank their preferences for the products in question. An ove r- whelming majority preferred products which had larger , more ‘ easy- to -read ’ labelling. According to Professor Caroline Werle, the lead researcher responsi ble for the testing, the results indicate that customers who can instantly engag e with nutritional labelling can spend more time thinking about their potential enjoyment of a product rather than trying to decode what it actually contains. In the bulk of scenarios, this “ extra time ” led to sales. For some researchers, evidence such as this helps justify the argument that all companies would benefit if food labelling were to be designed within a standardised scheme. However, this particular perspective had not been supported by the vast majority of food manufactu r- ers, for a number of reasons. In the past, one of the most often heard critiques launched against food label reform was that the process of ‘ relabelling ’ products would require a si g- ni ficant financial investment. If anything, this latest research has provided label reform su p- porters with an additional ta lking point to help offset this particular argument. It will be interesting to observe how food labels evolve over the coming years. If history is indicative of any trends, it is quite likely that consumers will benefit from improved access to vital nutritional information for the foreseeable f uture.