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The ambiguity of E-numbers : Consumer insights

Bloeming, M. (2020) The ambiguity of E-numbers : Consumer insights.

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Abstract:E-numbers are a way to regulate food additives and are avoided by consumers because of their negative attitudes towards them. This research aims to examine what factors influence Dutch consumers’ attitudes and product choices regarding E-numbers. An online survey was performed to investigate what factors influence attitudes and taste expectations (N = 193). An eye tracking study was held to examine product choices and attention to nutrition labels regarding E-numbers (N= 20). Results of the survey indicate that consumers have negative attitudes towards E-numbers, attitudes influence taste expectation, and trust in food producers influences attitudes. The more people one lives with moderates the effect of concerns on attitudes. Results of the eye tracking study show that consumers avoid E-numbers. Most attention was paid to E-number full out labels. E-number full out labels and no E-number labels were chosen equal times by consumers. Half of them have correct knowledge regarding E-numbers, which makes it likely that consumers base their knowledge on misconceptions. It seems that consumers do not fully understand nutrition labels, because E-number full out labels were not avoided. An implication is that food producers should use full out names of E-numbers on nutrition labels instead of E-numbers.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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