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Explore This IssueJune/July 2017
Consumers Pay More for ‘All-Natural’ Labeled Foods
A recent study published in the Journal of Food Science found that expectations of product quality, nutritional content, and the amount of money consumers were willing to pay increased when consumers saw a product labeled “all-natural” as compared to the same product without the label.
Researchers at Ohio State University used virtual reality technology to simulate a grocery store taste test of peanut butter. In one condition, consumers were asked by a server to evaluate identical products with only one being labeled all-natural. In the other, the server additionally emphasized the all-natural status of the one sample.
In the first condition, expectations of product quality and nutritional content increased, but there was dislike or non-willingness to pay additional for the all-natural product. However, expectations of product quality and nutritional content as well the amount of money subjects were willing to pay increased further when server identified one of the peanut butters as being made with
all-natural ingredients. This result was observed across a diverse group of subjects
indicating the broad impact of the all-natural label.—FQ&S
Menu Labeling Compliance Date Extended
The U.S. FDA has extended the compliance date for menu labeling requirements for restaurants and retailers from May 5, 2017 to May 7, 2018. This extension allows for further consideration of what opportunities there may be to reduce costs and enhance the flexibility of these requirements beyond those reflected in the interim final rule.
The FDA is exploring approaches to reduce regulatory burden or increase flexibility related to:
- Calorie disclosure signage for self-service foods, including buffets and grab-and-go foods;
- Methods for providing calorie disclosure information other than on the menu itself; and
- Criteria for distinguishing between menus and other information presented to the consumer.