Promoting the consumption of fresh products: can nutrition claims help?


  • M. Mulders
  • O. Klein
  • O. Corneille


Background: Nutrition Claims are used to highlight beneficial effects that a product has in relation to health and nutrition (i.e., “rich in fiberâ€). Two studies were run in order to investigate how consumers perceive such claims on fresh products and their (ultra-)processed derivatives (e.g. fresh tomato – canned peeled tomatoes – pasta sauce), and their influence on product choice. Additionally, the influence of known (fiber) vs. unknown (inulin & fructan) claims was assessed. Methods: In study 1, participants (n=200) were asked to rate and indicate their preferred product amongst three tomatoes (fresh) and three tomato sauces (ultra-processed). Each product was presented in 3 conditions: no claim vs. extra rich flavour claim vs. nutrition claim (fiber/inulin/fructan). In the follow-up (n=200), additional vegetables (carrots and parsnips) and levels of processing were added to the design. Participants were recruited online and chi-square and regression analyses were performed to analyse choice and liking scores. Findings: Results showed that nutrition claims had a big impact on the choice for fresh produce and their derivatives. For example: nutrition claims positively influenced the choice for tomatoes (Χ2(1,N=200)=13.03, p<0.01) but negatively for tomato sauces (Χ2(1,N=200)=32.92, p<0.01). Additionally, the mean liking for products with nutrition claims decreased as processing level increased for the tomatoes. Discussion: Nutrition claims influence consumers’ perception and choice for food products. Additionally, the influence of known vs. unknown claims is different. These results give insight into what could be done to aid the choices for healthier food options, with the use of nutrition claims.