Public Health Nutrition

Biological and behavioural determinants

Actual use of a front-of-pack nutrition logo in the supermarket: consumers’ motives in food choice

Ellis L Vytha1 c1, Ingrid HM Steenhuisa1, Jessica A Vlota1, Anouk Wulpa1, Meefa G Hogenesa1, Danielle H Looijea1, Johannes Bruga2 and Jacob C Seidella1a2

a1 Department of Health Sciences and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

a2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Objective A front-of-pack nutrition logo on products with relatively favourable product compositions might help consumers to make more healthful choices. Studies investigating actual nutrition label use in point-of-purchase settings are scarce. The present study investigates the use of the ‘Choices’ nutrition logo in Dutch supermarkets.

Design Adults were asked to complete a validated questionnaire about motivation for food choice and their purchased products were scored for the Choices logo after they had done their shopping.

Setting Nine supermarkets in The Netherlands.

Subjects A total of 404 respondents participated.

Results Of the respondents, 62 % reported familiarity with the logo. The motivations for food choice that were positively associated with actually purchasing products with the logo were attention to ‘weight control’ and ‘product information’. The food choice motive ‘hedonism’ was negatively associated with purchasing products with the logo.

Conclusions This is the first study to investigate actual use of the Choices logo. In order to stimulate consumers to purchase more products with a favourable product composition, extra attention should be paid to hedonistic aspects such as the tastefulness and the image of healthy products.

(Received June 08 2009)

(Accepted February 17 2010)

(Online publication April 01 2010)


c1 Corresponding author: Email