Adding Good or Removing Bad: Consumer Response to Nutrition Claims

Iina Ikonen, Aylin Aydinli, Peeter W.J. Verlegh

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Obesity is a global pandemic with severe consequences for individuals’ health as well as the economy on a broader scale. Obesity is caused by a combination of an excess consumption of calories from food and a lack of exercise (WHO, 2021). Therefore, controlling one’s food consumption has become ever more important. Food labelling has become a key way for policy makers and food manufacturers to promote healthier diets. However, despite significant research efforts studying the topic, the effects of various food labels remain largely unclear as potential moderators and contextual effects have so far been limitedly studied (Ikonen et al., 2020). The papers of this special session study the role of label specific, individual and contextual factors to shed more light into the effectiveness and potential limitations of two highly popular food labels in driving healthier food choices. The first two papers focus on nutrition claims. “Adding Good or Removing Bad: Consumer Response to Nutrition Claims” by Iina Ikonen, Aylin Aydinli, and Peeter Verlegh investigates how consumers react to claims about two specific types of healthy food processing: the addition of positive nutrients and the removal of negative nutrients. The results of a meta-analysis and experimental studies show that consumers perceive a product with added nutrients to provide more value for their money, and that they therefore prefer addition over removal. The second paper “Healthy in the Wrong Way: Mismatching of Marketers’ Food Claim Use and Consumers” Preferences in the United States but not in France” by Pierre Chandon and Romain Cadario further investigates whether manufacturers are meeting consumers’ preferences in terms of the types claims they are adding on their food packages. They show there is a mismatch in the claims manufacturers use and what consumers prefer in the United States, but not in France. The next two papers focus on the Nutri-Score label. “How Positive Nutri-Scores Backfire” by Eva Heeremans, Maggie Geuens and Iris Vermeir study how a positive Nutri-Score value may at times offer consumers justification to eat more of especially unhealthy foods and thus backfire. In the final paper “How Healthy Is Your Basket? The Effect of Real-Time Nutritional Feedback on the Healthiness of Grocery Shopping Baskets” Wieteke de Vries and Koert van Ittersum take a broader view investigating overall shopping basket instead of individual products. They show that providing continuous feedback regarding the shopping basket for example in the form of a Nutri-Score can help consumers make overall healthier decisions during a grocery shopping trip.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2022
EventEuropean Marketing Academy Annual Conference 2022 - Corvinus University, Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 24 May 202227 May 2022


ConferenceEuropean Marketing Academy Annual Conference 2022


  • Nutrition claims
  • Consumer health
  • Food choice
  • Healthy food
  • Front-of-package labeling
  • Meta-analysis


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