Critical Food and Nutrition Labeling Research Gaps

Food scientists and technologists have significantly contributed to advances in our understanding of how food labels can influence consumer behaviors and also product reformulations.  Further work is needed to examine how innovative packaging and promotional efforts can positively influence consumer behavior.  In addition, front and back labeling needs further exploration to understand how the two in combination can influence better dietary quality consumer choices.  Short and long term studies are needed to monitor how changes in labeling can influence product reformulations.  Public-private partnerships need to be further examined for their potential to advance our understanding of consumer behavior in grocery settings and in a variety of eating settings outside the home.  The role of nutrition education and promotion should further be examined in conjunction with intervening labeling efforts on the product or at the grocery shelf or menu board in a variety of age, race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomically diverse groups.