EU Health Claims: A Consumer Perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Health claims can inform consumers about important nutritional qualities of food products that would otherwise go unnoticed, and influence consumer choice. This chapter reviews consumer behaviour literature related to health claims, and discusses this in the context of the EU legislation. It addresses the influence of textual as well as pictorial health claims, how consumers form inferences based on health claims, and the potential influence of health claims on consumer motivation to choose healthful products. Consumer choice is argued to be based on the fit between inferred product benefits and the goals that are accessible at the moment of choice. This relates to the dual goal of the legislation on health claims, namely information transparency as well as consumer health motivation. The scientific insights from consumer studies are confronted with the current legislation on health claims. Important bottlenecks for reaching the objectives of the legislation are a lack of attention by policy makers to the non-textual information on product packaging, a lack of ability of health claims to increase consumer motivation by themselves, and difficulty of consumers in correctly understanding health claims.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRegulating and Managing Food Safety in the EU
Subtitle of host publicationA Legal-Economic Perspective
EditorsHarry Bremmers, Kai Purnhagen
ISBN (Electronic)9783319770451
ISBN (Print)9783319770437
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameEconomic Analysis of Law in European Legal Scholarship


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