The use of the Nutri-Score food choice logo leads to different reactions from consumers. Some prefer products with a better Nutri-Score, but remarkably enough, more than 30 percent consciously opt for a poor Nutri-Score. This has emerged from research into the influence of Nutri-Score on consumer purchasing behavior, carried out by the University of Antwerp.
Unhealthy is tastier?
The research was conducted among 1156 consumers from Belgium. They were always given the choice of 2 products from the same category, for example 2 variants of yoghurt, orange juice, crisps or granola. Nutri-Score worked as intended for approximately 40 percent of the participants: they always opted for the healthiest option. But 30 percent opted for the least healthy product option. So when choosing between 2 otherwise comparable products, one of which carried Nutri-Score C and the other Nutri-Score D, they chose D. According to the researchers, this group might think that healthy products are not tasty. Nutri-Score did not always work for the other 30 percent, but only in certain cases.
Introduction Nutri-Score in the Netherlands
At the end of last year, nutrition professionals called on the minister to wait with the introduction of Nutri-Score in the Netherlands until the advice of the Health Council has been implemented and Nutri-Score is in line with Dutch dietary guidelines. The letter was signed by, among others, the Dutch Association of Dieticians, Dieticians Cooperative Netherlands (DCN), Professional Association Leefstijlcoaches Nederland (BLCN) and the board of the Professional Association of Weight Consultants Netherlands (BGN). This month (February 2023), VWS State Secretary Maarten van Ooijen will announce his decision: either introduce Nutri-Score and only then make further adjustments, or wait until adjustments have been made before introducing it.
Sources: Appetite and Food&Agribusiness