Consumer perception of nutrition and health claims

01 March 2010

The latest Regulation by the European Commission on nutrition and health claims on foods has now been adopted and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is currently assessing numerous potential claims for their scientific substantiation. In a podcast interview, EUFIC spoke with Prof. Klaus Grunert and Prof. Wim Verbeke, two renowned experts in consumer research, about how consumers perceive different claims in different product contexts.

Relevant scientific publications on health claims, by Klaus Grunert and Wim Verbeke:

Lähteenmäki L, et al. (2010). Impact of health-related claims on the perception of other product attributes. Food Policy. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2009.12.007

Verbeke W, Scholderer J & Lähteenmäki L (2009). Consumer appeal of nutrition and health claims in three existing product concepts. Appetite 52:684-692.

Grunert KG, et al. (2009). Perception of health claims among nordic consumers. Journal of Consumer Policy. DOI: 10.1007/s10603-009-9110-0

Krutulyte R, et al. (2008). Motivational factors for consuming omega-3 PUFAs: An exploratory study with Danish consumers. Appetite 51:137-147.

Further information:

Definitions of nutrition and health claims according to EC Regulation:

1) ‘Nutrition claim’ means any claim which states, suggests or implies that a food has particular beneficial nutritional properties due to:

  • the energy (calorific value) it i) provides; ii) provides at a reduced or increased rate; or iii) does not provide; and/or

  • the nutrients or other substances it i) contains; ii) contains in reduced or increased proportions; or iii) does not contain.

2) ‘Health claim’ means any claim that states, suggests or implies that a relationship exists between a food category, a food or one of its constituents and health.

3) ‘Reduction of disease risk claim’ means any health claim that states, suggests or implies that the consumption of a food category, a food or one of its constituents significantly reduces a risk factor in the development of a human disease.

European Commission, DG Health and Consumers: Nutrition and health claims.

Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods.

Guidance on the implementation of Regulation N° 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods - Conclusions of the standing committee on the food chain and animal health.

EFSA: Nutrition and health claims.

Which foods may carry nutrition and health claims? EFSA provides scientific advice to assist policy makers.

EFSA scientific opinion: The setting of nutrient profiles for foods bearing nutrition and health claims pursuant to article 4 of the regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.

Any thoughts: