More government regulation threatens. If you damn people won’t stop overeating, the Feds are going to try everything in their power to make sure food-package labels make you think twice about reaching for those chocolate cream-filled cookies.
The current debate, as you might know, concerns the acronym “FOP,” referring to “front of package.” For those of you who get all Andy Rooney-like frustrated flipping the package round and round and upside down looking for the nutrition label, help is on the way.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Food Marketing Institute (FMI) are trying to get ahead of what will surely be tougher specs from the FDA, and have proposed their own solution to listing essential nutritional information on package fronts.
Millions of anxious hours, debate, and money that shall all come to naught. Why?
Because most consumers wouldn’t bother to read nutrition information even if it came as a post-it note hanging from the box.
Some University of Minnesota researchers did a study to compare shoppers’ claims to their behavior when it comes to reading labels. As you might expect, claims were higher than actual behavior. By a lot.
In the study, nearly one-third of consumers claimed to look for label information on calories, fat content, sugar, etc. Yet eye-tracking data in the study showed the actual viewing of this information was in the single digits.
Since the University of Minnesota study was conducted using computer simulation, with the nutrition “label” served up to the consumer, this finding is sort of astounding, and implies the results would be still lower in a “real life” shopping experience.
Which says FOP is FUBAR.
It makes me wonder about all the other useles drivel companies cram onto a label. How much of it ever gets read?
There are about twenty touch points prior to when the consumer reaches for the box or can (or whatever) on the shelf. If you’ve done your marketing job properly, the package just needs to have your name and the product picture on it.