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Food Labels Important to Irish ConsumersFood Labels Important to Irish Consumers

December 8, 2009

2 Min Read
Food Labels Important to Irish Consumers

DUBLINWhile one in four consumers in Ireland always read food labels when shopping for food, 27 percent rarely or never consult them, according to a Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) nationwide survey that provides an insight into consumers understanding and views of food labeling on the Irish market.

Food labeling was considered informative by nearly three-quarters of consumers surveyed, and the main reasons these consumers read food labels is to look for nutrient information, calorie content, or to determine if the food contains specific ingredients. Eighty-seven percent of consumers considered the nutrition table on a label to be very or fairly important, but most would prefer to see nutrient values stated per portion, than per 100 g or 100 ml.

More than 70 percent of consumers surveyed said they were very or fairly concerned about salt in food, so it is important that food labeling is presented in a way that allows consumers to identify lower salt options.

Other findings include more than 80 percent of consumers want health advice regarding the consumption of alcohol labeled on alcoholic products; 75 percent would like to see a date of minimum durability labeled on foods sold loose; country of origin labeling is important to consumers in Ireland with nearly three-quarters of those surveyed believe county of origin should be indicated on all foods; at least two-thirds of consumers said they would be inclined to buy food products labeled with the nutrition claims such as low salt, low sugars, one of five a day, high fiber or fat free.

Commenting on the findings of the survey Prof. Alan Reilly, Chief Executive, FSAI said: Overall, nearly three quarters of consumers confirm that food labels are informative, which is positive. The function of food labeling is to provide consumers with key information on the properties, ingredients, nature and characteristics of pre-packaged food to enable them to make informed food purchasing decisions. This survey highlights that consumers want information on food labels to be clear, but also indicates a need to educate consumers on the different aspects of food labeling to allow them to make more informed purchasing decisions.

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