There are different words and expressions that can be chosen to describe one health benefit expressed in a claim. They have been shown to have an influence on consumer's understanding and interest and must therefore be chosen carefully.
Gut health and consumer communication
In the case of gut health claims, communication must be adjusted to the targeted consumer's culture. Health claims on prebiotic and gut health functionalities of foodstuffs greatly differ per country.
Consumer survey on perception of health claims
SYRAL worked on this project together with Leatherhead Food International. An online questionnaire was run in December 2007 - January 2008 on 4040 respondents in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy.
- In a first step, the impact of four scientifically proven health claims on consumers’ interest and their intention to buy were evaluated: prebiotic effect, improved intestinal conditions, increased mineral absorption and lipids metabolism.
- In a second step focused on “prebiotic effect” and “improved intestinal conditions” claims, different wordings were evaluated so that we could compare these and define the most popular ones per country.Interest was evaluated for 6 different wordings of "prebiotic" claim, and 4 different wordings of "intestinal conditions" claim.
Women are more interested in tested health claims than men, and interest seems to grow with age, particularly in lipids metabolism.
In the UK, wordings referring to “friendly bacteria” are the most popular ones, whilst in Germany, wordings that include “fibres” or “prebiotics” are preferred. In France, Italy and in The Netherlands, consumers prefer wordings such as the “gut flora” and its “balance”, rather than terms like prebiotics or bifidogenic properties.
SYRAL must take these results into account as to further enhance the impact of health claims. SYRAL works closely with customers on the issue of health claims.
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