Nutritional claims and framing effect: how does the way of communication impact on the product perception?


  • Cristina Zerbini Università di Parma
  • Donata Tania Vergura Università di Parma
  • Beatrice Luceri Università di Parma
  • Guido Cristini Università di Parma



nutritional claim, sugar claim, framing effect theory, packaging, product perception, consumer behaviour


Framing of the research. The paper falls within the literature concerning food claims and the framing effect theory, expanding knowledge on the topic.

Purpose of the paper. The research tested the effectiveness of alternative ways of communicating the same information (the absence of added sugars in the product) through nutritional claims. Their impact on consumer perceptions was explored in terms of perceived healthiness, perceived quality, attitude toward the product, purchase intention, and willingness to pay.

Methodology. Images of fruit juice bottle were used as a stimulus and two versions of the pack were created: one with negative claim “no added sugar” and one with positive claim “only fruit sugars”. Data were collected by means of a web survey for a total of 122 completed questionnaires.

Results. Results demonstrated the greatest effectiveness on consumer perception of the claim with positive frame compared to the claim with negative frame.

Research limitations. The research investigated a single product category (fruit juices) and a single ingredient (sugar). More stimuli should be considered.

Managerial implications. The results offer useful information to food companies about the way of communication through product packaging and, in particular, through nutritional claims.

Originality of the paper. The paper analyzes two types of labels that have never been studied in the literature, extending the knowledge in the context of the framing effect theory with reference to nutritional claims.


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