Snacks With Nutrition Labels: Tastiness Perception, Healthiness Perception, and Willingness to Pay by Norwegian Adolescents

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Abstract

Objective:

Consumers tend to have the perception that healthy equals less tasty. This study aimed to identify whether information provided by the Keyhole symbol, a widely used front-of-package symbol in Nordic countries to indicate nutritional content, and percent daily values (%DVs) affect Norwegian adolescents' perception of the healthiness of snacks and their intention to buy them.

Design:

Two tasks were used to evaluate adolescents' perception of snacks with the Keyhole symbol: with %DVs or with no nutrition label. A third task was used to test their abilities to use %DVs (pairwise selections). A survey obtained personal attributes.

Participants:

A total of 566 Norwegian adolescents.

Main Outcome Measures:

Taste perception, health perception, and ability to use %DVs.

Analysis:

Linear mixed models and logistic models that tested effects of labels and personal attributes on main outcome measures.

Results:

The Keyhole symbol increased health perception without influencing taste perception of snacks. Norwegian adolescents had limited abilities to use information from the %DVs correctly to identify healthier foods.

Conclusions and Implications:

Norwegian adolescents had a positive perception of the Keyhole symbols. Keyhole symbols as a simple, heuristic front-of-package label have potential as an information strategy that may influence self-efficacy in promoting healthy snack choices among adolescents.

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