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Korean consumers' perceptions of health/functional food claims according to the strength of scientific evidence

  • Kim, Ji-Yeon ;
  • Kang, Eun-Jin ;
  • Kwon, O-Ran ;
  • Kim, Gun-Hee
  • Received : 2010.04.22
  • Accepted : 2010.10.15
  • Published : 2010.10.31

Abstract

In this study, we investigated that consumers could differentiate between levels of claims and clarify how a visual aid influences consumer understanding of the different claim levels. We interviewed 2,000 consumers in 13 shopping malls on their perception of and confidence in different levels of health claims using seven point scales. The average confidence scores given by participants were 4.17 for the probable level and 4.07 for the possible level; the score for the probable level was significantly higher than that for the possible level (P < 0.05). Scores for confidence in claims after reading labels with and without a visual aid were 5.27 and 4.43, respectively; the score for labeling with a visual aid was significantly higher than for labeling without a visual aid (P < 0.01). Our results provide compelling evidence that providing health claims with qualifying language differentiating levels of scientific evidence can help consumers understand the strength of scientific evidence behind those claims. Moreover, when a visual aid was included, consumers perceived the scientific levels more clearly and had greater confidence in their meanings than when a visual aid was not included. Although this result suggests that consumers react differently to different claim levels, it is not yet clear whether consumers understand the variations in the degree of scientific support.

Keywords

Consumer confidence;consumer perception;health claim;level of scientific evidence;qualifying language

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Cited by

  1. Exploration of Functional Food Consumption in Older Adults in Relation to Food Matrices, Bioactive Ingredients, and Health vol.32, pp.2, 2013, https://doi.org/10.1080/21551197.2013.781419
  2. The Effect of Familiarity on Consumer Ratings of the Scientific Support of Health Claims on Food vol.21, pp.6, 2015, https://doi.org/10.1080/10454446.2014.949967
  3. Industry and Consumers Awareness for Effective Management of Functional Animal-based Foods in South Korea vol.18, pp.4, 2013, https://doi.org/10.3746/pnf.2013.18.4.242
  4. Do manufacturer ‘nutrient claims’ influence the efficacy of mandated front-of-package labels? pp.1475-2727, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980018002550

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Korea Food and Drug Administration