Evidence on food information – Empowering consumers to make … – europa.eu

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) publishes the results of four scientific studies related to food information to consumers.
The European Commission will use the findings of these studies as input for a proposal to revise the EU rules on the information provided to consumers as part of the EU’s ‘Farm-to-Fork’ Strategy and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.
Labelling can help consumers make informed, healthy and sustainable food choices.
The JRC conducted four scientific studies to synthesise the current evidence on front-of-pack nutrition labelling, origin labelling and food information through other means than on labels as well as to analyse what is currently present on the market as regards the labelling of alcoholic beverages.
Here are some of the findings.  
Front-of-pack nutrition labelling is one of the tools that support the prevention of diet-related, non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or cancers.
Under the current EU rules, the provision of nutrition information on the front-of-pack is possible on a voluntary basis. A variety of voluntary public and private front-of-pack nutrition labelling schemes have been developed and are currently used at different degrees in Member States.
The European Commission has announced, both in its Farm to Fork Strategy and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, a proposal for harmonised mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling for the EU.
The JRC study on front-of-pack nutrition labelling showed that:
You want to know more about the findings? Find here the full report: Front-of-pack nutrition labelling schemes: an update of the evidence.
Under the Regulation on Food Information to Consumers (FIC), alcoholic beverages containing more than 1.2% alcohol by volume are exempt from the obligation to display a list of ingredients and a nutrition declaration on the product label. Business operators can nevertheless provide these on a voluntary basis.
The JRC study found out that, in the EU-27:
Do you want to know more about this topic? Find here the full report: Provision of ingredient, energy and full nutrition information on alcoholic beverages .
The scientists conducted a literature review on alternative sources of food information available in the marketplace besides package labels. They looked into how consumers use, understand, and are influenced by these information sources.
These are the general conclusions:
Read the full report: Literature review on means of food information provision other than packaging labels
The scientists reviewed the literature on the impact of origin information of food products on purchase decisions and consumption. They looked into how and why consumers use, understand, and are influenced by origin information, coming to the following conclusions:
Read the full report: Consumer understanding of origin labelling on food packaging and its impact on consumer product evaluation and choices: A systematic literature review.
The findings will feed into current and future food information policy making. They are notably contributing, alongside other factors, to the evidence base informing the impact assessment for the ongoing revision of Regulation EU No 1169/2011 on food information to consumers.
These findings will also support the preparatory work for the upcoming proposal of the European Commission for a legislative framework for sustainable food systems (FSFS) and for a sustainability labelling framework to inform nutritional, climate, environmental and social aspects of food product.
Food, nutrition & health
A wide range of activities linked to the food chain, including food fraud, new technologies, food waste and responsible consumption.
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