The Role Of Mindfulness In Consumer's Food Choices
Rodriguez Delgado, Daniela Rachel
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In an effort to add relevant knowledge to the marketing field about how to help consumers make better food choices, we reflect on external package cues such as monochrome nutrition labels, color nutrition labels, and nutritional claims. We presented a neuro-research experiment using an eye-tracker to analyze the relationship between mindfulness (being aware of the present) and attention to nutrition labels. Using six different products (healthy and non-healthy chips, yogurt and cereal), we tested the differences on attention between monochrome nutrition labels, color nutrition labels, and nutritional claims. Statistically, there is no difference between monochrome nutrition labels and color nutrition labels attention, but this can be reverted when other factors come in the way. We found that when participants received a mindfulness intervention, depending on the product characteristics, they would look more or less thoroughly at the nutritional information. For monochrome nutrition labels on healthy yogurts, mindfulness makes consumers trust their previous knowledge; for color nutrition labels on healthy yogurt and chips, mindfulness increased the attention to these labels when assessing the product. Also, an interesting finding suggests, the less time a consumer spends reading the monochrome nutrition label, the greater the purchase intention. Other authors have found something similar stating that consumers want to avoid the negative nutrients in food products. This finding may be the consequence of the lack of knowledge of language used in nutrition labels which prevents consumers from using and interpreting this information when making purchase choices (De la Cruz-Góngora, et al., 2012). Therefore, we suggest that more research should look into different nutrition labels formats that engage consumers. With these findings, we can conclude that this topic is a shared responsibility, not only the legislation and brands should work on updating the labels design, but also, we as consumers have the power to overcome a negative effect by being mindful.
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