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Factors Affecting Food Label Complexity: Does the New EU Regulation Satisfy Consumer Issues? An Exploratory Study

Simeone, Mariarosaria, Scarpato, Debora, Marinelli, Nicola
Journal of food products marketing 2016 v.22 no.5 pp. 571-583
European Union, consumer information, consumer satisfaction, ecolabeling, food safety, marketing, models, processed foods, product certification
There is still a substantial information asymmetry between producers and consumers. Despite the recent EU regulation on labeling to enhance consumer food safety and the existence of a number of certifications on sustainable food products, there remain blind spots in the widely debated consumer information issue. Our study, conducted on primary data processed with a probit model, was aimed at identifying the factors that may affect consumer response in relation to difficulties in interpreting the labels of processed food products. Starting from theoretical models, several factors held responsible for defining the consumer’s knowledge were used as explanatory variables. Our results show that despite changes in the new legislation, there remains the problem of the consumer’s lack of knowledge concerning environmental labeling and product certification.