Criteria per product group of a food choice logo stimulate product innovation
Food choice logos can help consumers make healthier choices and encourage producers to improve their product composition. Our colleague Léon Jansen, together with Wageningen University, investigated the effect of changes in product criteria on product innovation. The results of this research were published this week in the leading scientific journal Food Chemistry.
Jansen studied the influence of the well-known Dutch Choices (Ik Kies Bewust) logo on product innovation. Between 2006 and 2016, this logo indicated that the product in question was a healthier choice within a certain product category. To qualify for the logo, products had to comply with nutritional criteria. These criteria were tightened every four to five years. In this way producers were stimulated to continuously improve their products and make them healthier.
More than 4300 product compositions over a 10-year period were analysed. In general, the products bearing the food choice logo had a healthier composition than comparable products on the market. The changes in criteria had the desired effect. The composition of products with the food choice logo improved, often after changes criteria. Sodium and trans fatty acid contents were significantly reduced and the number of calories, the percentage of saturated fat and the amount of added sugar were also reduced. Although the average composition of all products on the market improved, products with the food choice logo remained the healthier choice within the product group.
The published research shows a clear link between product compositions and product category specific criteria of products with the food choice logo. It also confirms that the logo plays a strong role in product innovation.