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Department ofEconomics


Bearers of Bad News: Heterogeneous Effects of Alternative Front-of-Package Labeling Schemes for Nutritional Information

William A. Sundstrom, Shelby McIntyre, Gregory A. Baker, and Brian Avants

Journal of Agribusiness 38, (1 ) pp. 1-34, Spring 2020

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The effectiveness of front-of-package labeling depends on the extent to which the nutritional information is presented in a way that is noticed and understood by consumers. We show that one reason for ambiguous results in previous research is that the impact of nutritional labeling of specific nutrients on consumer perceptions is heterogeneous; consumers who are more motivated by specific nutritional concerns pay more attention to that nutritional information. Most studies have not taken into account this heterogeneity in consumer preferences based on individual nutritional concerns and, therefore, have often missed the important effects that we find for the motivated subset.

LSB Research, ECON, 2020, William Sundstrom