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P. 5-8 /

Consumer reactions
to foods with nutrition and
health claims

WIM VERBEKE
Ghent University, Department of Agricultural Economics
Coupure links 653, Gent, B-9000, Belgium

Abstract

This contribution provides a summary of insights about European Union (EU) consumer reactions and their determinants in relation to foods with nutrition and health claims. Studies show that consumer acceptance is far fromunconditional and depends on beliefs about functional foods being viewed a marketing stunt, as well as on familiarity andperceptions related to the perceived fit of ingredients and carrier or base products rather than on classical demographiccharacteristics. Uncertainties at the industry level regarding the political and legislative process of substantiation and approval of nutrition and health claims in the EU may further be fuelled by concerns and scepticism at the consumer level.