Simplified nutrient labelling: consumers’ perceptions in Germany and Belgium

  • Anke Möser
  • Christine Hoefkens
  • John Van Camp
  • Wim Verbeke


Growing consumer interest in food and health has motivated the European food industry to provide more simple information about the nutritional composition of foods. In addition to the traditional back-of-pack nutrition table, simplified front-of-pack labels have been introduced by the food industry to allow consumers making better informed and healthier food choices. In this study, consumers’ perceptions of simplified nutrition information, namely Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) and Traffic light (TL), in Germany and Belgium are explored. Consumer surveys in Germany (n = 147) and Belgium (n = 128) were conducted in 2008. Data were analysed by means of descriptive statistics and regression analysis. In both countries, the GDA is the most widely used simplified nutrition label. Whereas most consumers in Belgium indicate a preference for the GDA, in Germany the Traffic light is favoured most. Regression analyses indicate that the predilection for the different labels is affected by socio-demographic characteristics and perceptions towards the respective labels. European nutrition policy makers and food industries should be aware of cross-country differences regarding the perception of simplified nutrition labels. The challenge for both stakeholder groups is to raise awareness of the potential function of simplified labels in making informed and healthy food choices among European consumers.


Nutrient profile labelling Nutrition policy European food industry Consumer Survey 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anke Möser
    • 1
  • Christine Hoefkens
    • 2
  • John Van Camp
    • 3
  • Wim Verbeke
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for International Development and Environmental ResearchJustus-Liebig University GiessenGießenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Economics and Department of Food Safety and Food QualityGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Food Safety and Food QualityGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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