Antioxidant-Rich Food Labels Appeal to Consumers

Foods labeled as “rich in antioxidants” are much more likely to be consumed “very frequently” or “somewhat frequently” (40 percent) by American consumers compared to foods labeled as “antioxidants added” (25 percent).

Decision Analyst’s “Food Ingredients: What’s Hot?” report, based on a survey of 16,392 U.S. grocery shoppers, clearly indicates that consumers prefer the label copy “rich in” as opposed to “added,” as shown in the table below for the ingredients omega-3 and iron.

Percent of American Consumers Who
Frequently Consume Products Described As ...
Label                                          Percent
Rich in Antioxidants                 40%
Antioxidants Added                 25%

Rich in Omega-3                    27%
Omega-3 Added                    19%

Rich in Iron                             25%
Iron Added                              15%

Base: 16,392 American consumers
Question: How often do you consume foods and beverages described as follows ... ? “Very/Somewhat Frequently”

“Our findings suggest that more Americans frequently consume products labeled ‘rich in’ these ingredients, compared to products that have the same ingredients ‘added.’ This is likely due to the perception that foods rich in an ingredient are more natural and less processed, compared to foods that have these ingredients added to them during the manufacturing process,” said Diane Brewton, SVP of the market intelligence group at Decision Analyst.

“Consumer perceptions and beliefs about ingredients contained in their foods, as well as nutritional information on food packaging, are important factors driving their purchase behavior. Understanding consumer knowledge and beliefs is crucial for food marketers, as this helps them effectively highlight healthful, or even ‘magic,’ product ingredients in messaging and packaging claims,” continued Brewton.
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