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Title: The front of pack nutrition information panel : using novel methods to explore consumer decision making at point of choice during routine supermarket shopping
Author: Cowburn, Gillian
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 0306
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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Encouraging people to make healthier food choices will make an important contribution to preventing non-communicable diseases. Most groceries purchased by UK households are from supermarkets, potentially making this an important setting where consumers might consider the nutritional quality of foods. While it is possible to purchase healthy food in supermarkets, the retail environment actively promotes the selection of less healthy items. Gaps remain in our understanding about which store based interventions - including providing on-pack nutrition information - can assist shoppers to make healthy food selections. Considerable evidence exists around consumer engagement with nutrition labelling, but there is a paucity of research conducted in real-life contexts. This thesis describes a qualitative study which explored factors which influence decision making at point-of-choice and sought to understand whether and how shoppers use the front of pack nutrition information panel during routine supermarket shopping. The study also investigated whether wearable cameras were useful research tools to understand how shoppers use the front of pack nutrition information panel, compared to a 'Think aloud' method. In this research, participants paid little attention to the front of pack nutrition information as they shopped. Food shopping was characterised as a complex, involved activity with priority given to a range of different issues over health and/or nutrition concerns. Although the front of pack nutrition information panel could offer support to shoppers, this study suggests that its presence is currently overwhelmed by commercially driven factors. Shoppers appear to need specific health or nutrition-related purchasing goals, be sufficiently informed and motivated to spend time attending to the front of pack nutrition information panel. Future interventions should raise awareness of the presence of nutrition information on pack and be clear about how this information can be used in different circumstances to guide consumers towards healthier choices. The study suggests that while data collected via 'Think aloud' or from viewing wearable camera images provides general information about food shopping decisions, eye-tracker technology can provide objective evidence of nutrition information use. Data capture was greatly strengthened by the use of a post-shop interview, where interviews generated specific and important contextual information relating to the use of the front of pack nutrition information panel.
Supervisor: Locock, Louise ; Fitzpatrick, Raymond Sponsor: Medical Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available