Half of Americans (53%) feel like food labels are sometimes misleading, according to research presented by Crispy Green, Inc., Fairfield, N.J. In fact, mistrust in food labels extends to 11% of Americans who find food labels to be completely untrustworthy.
And, it’s more than just distrust of labels; 82% of Americans have felt tricked by nutrition labels.
The lack of trust continues with 43% of U.S. consumers believing that brands are misleading consumers as a way to sell products. And, 44% of Americans are skeptical of the health claims purported on food labels.
This study, conducted by OnePoll, UK, looked into the habits and thoughts of 2,000 Americans and found that 33% consider transparency from a brand as an extremely important factor when purchasing food products.
With 77% of Americans actually reading food labels, 71% are looking at sugar when reading a nutrition label. Calories, fat, sodium and carbohydrates rounded up the Top 5 most important figures that people care about when reading a nutrition label.
“People are waking up to the fact that what they eat has a direct correlation to their health,” says Angela Liu, founder and CEO of Crispy Green. “So, it’s no wonder they’re scrutinizing labels — they want to take control of their well-being and this is a great place to start.”
Likewise, 93% feel like companies hide sugar in their products by using different words on the actual label. And, some 56% have found themselves eating something they later realized contained sugar. Furthermore, 45% have eaten something for a year or longer only to find out that it was actually totally unhealthy.
Health is increasingly important for U.S. shoppers, with 85% considering themselves to be healthy eaters and another one in five following a specific diet or lifestyle. As such, 78% look for products with simple ingredients.
So how many ingredients qualify as “simple?” Americans find five ingredients to be the maximum for a “simple” food item. And, 83% look for products with simple packaging. In fact, 78% of Americans prefer brands that have simple, easy-to-read packaging rather than packaging that includes extraneous information that may be confusing.
And, for those who follow a specific diet or lifestyle, 97% look for packaging that caters to their specific lifestyle.
When buying food, Americans are mainly concerned about the quality of ingredients. However, they also care about the price, where it was made/where it’s from, the number of ingredients and the packaging.
“For obvious reasons, people are gravitating toward packaging that clearly states what’s inside,” adds Liu. “Clear, concise packaging not only makes it easier for consumers to understand what they’re buying, but it also gives them peace of mind about a company and trust in its brand.”
Top 5 things Americans look for when reading a nutrition label
Top 5 important factors when shopping for food
Top 5 concerns when buying food
- Quality of ingredients
- Where it was made/where it’s from
- Number of ingredients
- The packaging