Survey: Labels make it hard for shoppers to find healthy foods they want


CHICAGO — Transparency research firm Label Insight this week released the results of its 2017 Shopper Trends Survey, which found that, though shoppers are interested in healthy options, they have a hard time telling if a product meets their needs from the label. 


The survey saw 75% of consumers saying they examine packages for the ingredients to ensure a product meets their dietary needs. However, 67% said that they find it challenging to know whether a product meets their needs after reading the label, and 48% consider themselves not informed at all about the product after doing so. This can lead shoppers to research the products online, with 74% turning to the Internet for more information about a product.


“Consumers vary in their definitions of healthy, and they want more detailed ingredient information,” Label Insight chief marketing officer Patrick Moorhead said.  “Today's product packaging is not meeting those needs. Keeping pace with consumers' increasing demand for product transparency is one of the most challenging issues facing the food and beverage industry today.”


The results come as 49% of shoppers say they adhere to a particular diet or health-related eating program, and 44% say food allergies, intolerances or sensitivies affect the way they shop. When it comes to health choices, 56% said they avoid high fructose corn syrup, 44% steer clear of artificial sweeteners, 36% look out for both preservatives and artificial colors and 35% avoid artificial flavors. 


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