- Looking at Labels
Health advice and guidelines are constantly evolving in line with new research and statistics. The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets the standards and responds to this information to promote public health. Just this year, it released new labeling rules for food manufacturers, which include displaying calories in larger type, featuring the added sugar content, and updated daily values of nutrients. But are consumers noticing this information?
The FDA recently conducted a study with the help of eye-tracking research consultancy Tobii Pro Insight, examining the attention paid to nutritional information in the grocery store aisle. Sixty shoppers were asked to wear eye-tracking glasses while selecting items from either the cereal, soup or snack aisle at two different U.S. supermarkets. After they finished, they were asked to recall important information about their choices.
The results were interesting, with eye-tracking data revealing that just one-third of participants looked at the Nutrition Facts label at least once, and of those, the total time spent viewing it was less than one second. During the interview process, more than half of respondents said that the information on the Nutrition Facts label was “extremely” or “very” important when shopping in the targeted product categories.