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Eye-tracking Research Illuminates Label Comprehension

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Eye-tracking Research Illuminates Label Comprehension

Companies have been learning the ins and outs of label design for decades. Now, new technology could help them improve the process even further.

An international team of scientists is using eye-tracking technology as a means of assessing how consumers evaluate nutrition labels. The research is being led by Dan Graham from the University of Minnesota. Early results suggest there are several labeling trends that make it more difficult than necessary for consumers to comprehend different values on nutrition labels.

"Even consumers motivated to select healthful foods are sometimes unsuccessful in accurately assessing food healthfulness due to barriers in comprehending nutrition information," Graham writes, as quoted by Food Navigator. "Label location, size, color and format can all influence whether the label is viewed by a consumer, and how readily it is understood."

Many companies are already in the process of developing a new labeling system to better convey nutrition values. For example, the Facts Up Front initiative, which displays nutrition information on the front of packaging, has gained traction among a number grocers.