Research Article Report #1
MCS 1000 - Section: 01
Title & Author of Article
Food for Thought: How Will the Nutrition Labelling of Quick Service Restaurant Menu Items Influence Consumers’ Product Evaluations, Purchase Intentions, and Choices?
Burton, S., Howlett, E., & Tangari, A. (2009)
After reading the journal article, I believe that the purpose of this study was to prove that there is a gap between perceived and actual fast food nutritional value, and it is the appreciation of this gap that influences consumer purchases and not the definite disclosure of nutrition information. Research was based around the questions of how accurately consumers can measure the levels of calorie, fat and sodium content in their out of home food, and whether of availability of nutrition information will effect food evaluation, purchase intentions, and choice throughout the industry. It is my belief that the study also had a ...view middle of the document...
The diary was to record the type of food and beverages consumed, the restaurant visited, and satisfaction levels. The participants then filled out surveys indicating their initial nutrition beliefs, and their perceptions thereafter discovering true calorie, fat and sodium levels. The second experiment resembles the first, however, a controlled group was used in which purchase decisions and calorie levels were limited. The third method of research involved a longitudinal experiment where participants were made to develop low calorie expectations about certain foods. These expectations were then later confirmed or disconfirmed. In each of the three experiments, participants’ reactions to the confirmation and disconfirmation were measured in accordance to whether their frequency of purchase of a low- a high-calorie meal increased or decreased.
Summary of Key Findings
Through the analysis of the three experiments, researchers were able to gain a better understanding of how consumers perceive and make purchase decisions regarding fast food when nutrition information is or is not available. It was concluded that consumers cannot accurately estimate actual fat, sodium and calorie levels particularly in high calorie, low nutrient foods. One key finding of the study indicates that when calorie levels are found to be higher than expected, consumers are less willing to buy these foods, and vice versa. This results in a decrease in the purchase of high calorie foods and an increase in the purchase of low calorie foods when nutrition information is disclosed. The results of this study can also be utilized by both consumer researchers and policy researchers. Increasing rates of childhood and adult obesity can be contrasted to the availability of nutrition information and whether obesity rates can be reduced through an increase in information provision. Despite the findings of the study, the experiments lack complete reliability as they disregard a variety of variables. Psychology, price, motivation, and availability are just a few factors that affect fast food purchases. Although the disclosure of nutrition will affect consumer purchases, it may not be as influential as one of the other factors, thus decreasing the strength of the results.