IFIC Foundation Food Label Consumer Research Project

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on February 27, 2014, proposed major changes to what is currently known as the Nutrition Facts Panel (NFP). The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation will continue to update its educational materials as the issue progresses.

Today’s food labels provide nutrition information to help consumers make food choices to achieve a healthful diet. The NFP contains serving size, calorie, and nutrient information, as well as Daily Values (DVs) for key nutrients. Given the goal and components of the NFP, the International Food Information Council Foundation launched the Food Label Consumer Research project in 2006 with the overarching goal of enhancing consumers’ ability to make informed, balanced diet choices using the NFP.

Project Overview

The Food Label Consumer Research is a three-phase project with both qualitative and quantitative phases. The overall project objectives are to:

  1. Understand how consumers make food and beverage purchasing decisions using the NFP in the context of the entire package as well as other food and nutrition information sources;
  2. Explore changes to the NFP that could facilitate consumers’ decisions; and
  3. Measure to what extent specific NFP changes or enhancements, compared to the current NFP, help consumers interpret NFP information.

Research Findings and Reports

A summary report of the project’s qualitative findings, which includes insights from ethnographic interviews (Phase I) and iterative focus groups (Phase II), is available.  Review the Summary Report (PDF) of these phases.

A summary report of the project’s quantitative, experimental study design, testing potential NFP enhancements (Phase III), includes how insights from the first two phases informed the third phase, as well as detailed findings from the experiment.  Review the Summary Report for Phase III (PDF).

This research is meant to gain an understanding of how to enhance consumers’ ability to make healthful, balanced diet choices using the Nutrition Facts panel (NFP).  Provision of this information by the International Food Information Council Foundation does not indicate an endorsement of any specific label enhancement tested in the research but is provided only as a source of information per our mission.