Food packaging has been proven to influence people’s shopping habits. According to a 2014 FDA survey, 77% of adults check food labels when shopping and nearly 90% consider health claims made by companies. Unfortunately, this can lead to bad choices if the assertions are not particularly precise. According to the organization’s website, the FDA’s decision to clearly label foods as healthy is part of a strategy to “encourage the development of healthier foods by industry” and help Americans make decisions more “easily and quickly”.
According to Food Navigator, a 2020 study showed that an increase in a specific food category – i.e. breakfast cereals – to include more front-of-package labeling may push the entire category to improve nutritional content, with an overall reduction in calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar. Although this is a promising development, Food Dive notes that around 90% of people are still confused by food packaging and struggle to determine which claims actually indicate the healthiest choices, according to a study conducted. by the Attest research platform. The same study indicates that more than 50% of respondents said they would appreciate “clear nutrition labeling on the front of products”.
With these new studies underway, it looks like the FDA is trying to address some of these issues so consumers can more easily make informed food choices.