13 facts on consumer attitudes to food labelling

Shoppers increasingly want to make informed decisions about what they are eating but are confused by what’s on the pack, research from retail app Ubamarket has revealed.

16 October 2018

Food labels

  • Out of date, complicated and full of jargon – that’s how 26m British shoppers feel about food labels, according to the survey.
  • 44% of people find food labels difficult and at times impossible to read.
  • A quarter of vegetarians, vegans and/or coeliacs say they have eaten meat, dairy or wheat because of poor labelling.
  • For those looking to make a lifestyle change, 19% have attempted a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet, which they say was scuppered by confusing food labels.
  • Meanwhile, 28% of Brits say that complicated food labels are the primary reason they find dieting difficult.
  • Over half of respondents agree that complex UK labelling make it difficult for people with dietary requirements to make informed decisions about what they eat.
  • In fact, 12m Brits say food labels are the reason they have eaten forbidden foods.
  • 39% of the nation don’t feel that they know enough about the ingredients in the food they eat.
  • People are looking for answers. 44% of those surveyed want a solution that makes figuring out food ingredients easier.

Common dietary mishaps

  • When it comes to gluten, almost 80% of people don’t know that many soy sauces and ice creams contain gluten.
  • One-third are unaware that pesto is not vegetarian, even though most varieties are made using Grana Padano cheese.
  • Parmesan also throws up problems. 18% erroneously believe that the cheese is vegetarian, when in fact it is made using rennet, a byproduct of the calf meat industry.
  • One of the nation’s favourite snacks is also confusing to 16% of people, who believe that crisps are vegan when actually they commonly contain dairy products.

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