Influence of Label Design on Children's Perception of 2 Snack Foods

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Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the influence of label design on children's perception of 2 popular snack foods across 3 income levels.

Design:

Labels of 2 snack products (yogurt and sponge cake) were designed using a fractional factorial design with 3 2-level variables: cartoon character, nutrition claims, and front-of-package nutritional information.

Participants:

A total of 221 children (aged 9–13 years) from Montevideo, Uruguay, with different income levels, participated in the study.

Main Outcome Measures:

Children's attitude toward and liking of 2 food products.

Results:

Low-income children showed a more positive attitude toward the products than did middle- and high-income children. The inclusion of a cartoon character in sponge cake labels significantly affected hedonic expectations regardless of income. Middle- and high-income children tended to use the term funny more frequently and the term boring less frequently to describe labels that included the cartoon character, compared with those that did not.

Conclusions and Implications:

Results showed that the inclusion of cartoon characters on food labels is associated with fun. Low-income children seem more susceptible to the marketing strategies of food companies than do middle- and high-income children.

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