12 January - 20 June 2016

Research analyses the role of health-related claims and health-related symbols in consumer behaviour

9 April 2015

The introduction of the 2006 European Commission regulation on nutrition and health claims made on food (EC 1924/2006) aimed to harmonise the rules governing such claims throughout the European Union (EU). This regulation ensures a higher level of consumer protection and manufacturer’s adherence to this regulation allows the consumer to make more informed choices on food.

In order to assess the impact that health-related claims on food have on the consumer, the EU has funded a project: Role of health-related claims and symbols in consumer behaviour (CLYMBOL). This far reaching project is composed of five research work packages;

Work Package 1 – Current status of health claims and symbols: Product supply 
Work Package 2 – Current status of health claims and symbols: Consumer needs and wants
Work Package 3 – Methodological toolbox: Measuring the effect of health claims and symbols on understanding, purchasing and consumption
Work Package 4 – Investigation of effects: The effect of health claims and symbols on understanding, purchasing and consumption 
Work Package 5 – Public policy implications: Stimulating healthy food choices for the consumer and innovation within the industry
Work packages 1 and 2 form the basis for revising the preliminary taxonomy of food labelling, focusing on health claims, symbols and their context. This work is expected to reach completion by mid-2015. Work package 3 is complete in anticipation of work package 4 which is expected to be completed by early 2016.

Work package 5 evaluates a real-life campaign of the ‘Choices’ logo which ran from July to December 2014 in the Netherlands. This phase allows CLYMBOL to make recommendations to stakeholders on new communication tools, assisting consumers in making informed and healthy food choices. 

This valuable research into consumer exposure to health claims and symbols on foods will provide a solid information basis for future research and public policy.

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