Health Star Ratings rank high on ease of identification on labels: Survey

A survey conducted by India’s premiere management institute, IIM Ahmedabad, on behalf of FSSAI on ‘Front of the Pack Label (FOPL)’ has revealed that on an average, the summary ratings of ‘Health Star Ratings (HSR)’ and ‘Warning Labels’ were in the highest pecking order, from the perspective of ease of identification, understanding, reliability and influence on the consumers.

Among the two, HSR appears most acceptable, outdoing the nutrient specific formats on ease of understanding. HSR finds greater support among the Southern, Central and Western regions of the country, reads the summary of the survey.

Under the survey, the Indian consumers were to determine, which is the easiest to understand and influences purchase intention alike amongst the five popular formats of nutrient specific labels and summary ratings including, Multiple Traffic Lights (MTL), Monochrome GDA, Nutri-Score, Warning Labels and Health Star Ratings (HSR). According to the survey, Multiple Traffic Lights (MTL) was most preferred when it came to reflecting necessary health information and presence of an unwanted nutrient. In terms of change in customer behaviour as reflected in purchase intention, all five FOPLs lead to a significant change in purchase intention at the 99% confidence level with MTL having a marginal advantage.

In the survey, a total of 20,564 face–to–face respondents covering all major states of India were questioned. The respondents were randomly allocated to 15 treatment groups and asked their purchase intention for packaged biscuits and chips. They were then asked to rate important aspects of FOPLs. Additional tests were also carried out for ease of identification, understanding labels and so on by the consumers.

If the objective of introducing an FOPL in India is a careful combination of both, ease of identification and understanding as well as influence on purchase intentions, then we recommend Health Star Ratings as the preferred format, the survey concluded.