“Therefore, this finding seems to strengthen the idea that the information conveyed by claims might be misled by consumers. This assumes particular importance considering that those consumers that are mostly interested in claims seem to have only scarce nutrition knowledge.”
Will Front-Facing Nutritional Labels Be The Future?
In Chile, the government is attempting to battle this issue by requiring octagonal black labels on the front of food packages high in certain nutritional factors. If a food exceeds 275 calories, 10 grams of sugar, 4 grams of saturated fat, or 400 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams, the packaging is required to reflect that information on the front packaging. Any food items with these black labels cannot be advertised to children under 14 as well.
“It takes less than a second to decide to buy something…the labels had to be something you could see in that short period of time,” says Lorena Rodriguez, head of the Department of Food and Nutrition.
Front-facing nutritional labels probably won’t be hitting U.S. shelves in the near future. Although minimal, the changes proposed by the USDA for the new nutritional labels received heavy pushback – especially from the sugar lobby concerning the added sugar line – so the idea of more in-your-face labeling on the front of packages seems farfetched. That being said, if the trend towards tougher restrictions on unhealthy food continues, it’s not without reason to expect more labeling regulations down the road.