NPD: Consumers care about nutrition facts
Increasingly, what’s on the back of a product is more important than the name on the front. NPD group is reporting that nearly 90% of consumers read the nutrition facts labeling on products, with a focus on sugars and calories.
NPD’s Health Aspirations and Behavioral Tracking Service has found that 57% of consumers who read nutrition facts look for sugars and 45% look for calorie information — two elements that have been affected by new federal labeling rules that took effect Jan. 1. New labels feature calories in a larger font, and if the entire package can be consumed in one sitting, the label now features two columns — one for a single serving and another for the entire package — and sugars counts now include sugars added in processing.
Also of interest to consumers is sodium, which 38% of label readers look at, and protein, which 33% of consumers who read the label look at. NPD’s data also shows that while consumers care about total fat and trans fat, saturated fat is less critical. Further, 9% of shoppers who read the label care about potassium, which is a new addition to the label due to its role in a healthy diet.
Between the new labels and interest from consumers, the data offers food for thought for private label and branded food manufacturers to see the label as an opportunity to highlight better-for-you features of their products.
"Consumers are interested in the content of the foods they eat and the nutrition facts label is their best source for this information," said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. "With most food companies working on the health profile of the foods they produce; the nutrition facts label provides them with the ability to showcase these improvements."