Overall, participant attention to labelling information appeared to be driven by a particular need; for example, if participants were following a specific diet or had specific dietary or allergen requirements. Outside of these circumstances, participants tended only to use labels to check the “use by” or “best before” dates, and occasionally checked labels when buying new or unfamiliar products.
Reasons for not checking labelling information included participants routinely buying familiar products, and therefore not considering it necessary to check product information. A further barrier related to comprehension and interpretation of current labels, with people perceiving them to be overly numerical or requiring complex calculations.
In spite of these barriers, there was a general overall appetite for increased provision of labelling information, especially nutrition information and portion size as a consequence of current social trends towards maintaining a healthier diet. Participants expressed a need for greater visualisation and simplification of data which could encourage more informed, habitual usage of labelling information going forward.