Nutrition Labels Survey: Shoppers Care About Calories More Than Other Factors

The US Food and Drug Administration has announced plans to update nutrition labels on packaged foods this year. These labels have been around for decades to give shoppers a better idea about the nutrition and calories in their food options. But how big of an impact do these labels have on buying decisions? And what are the most important aspects they look for on nutrition labels?

nutrition labels

Buying Impact

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 19% of consumers said they always read the nutrition labels on the foods they buy. 31% said they read nutrition labels most of the time. 23% said they read the labels about half the time. 21% said they rarely read the nutrition labels when buying food. And just 6% said they never read nutrition labels.

Making Changes

So what do people think about the contents of these labels? Is a change really necessary? 22% of those who read nutrition labels said they think they’re very easy to understand. 60% think nutrition labels are somewhat easy to understand. 16% think they are somewhat difficult to understand. And just 2% think nutrition labels are very difficult to understand.

In general, 38% of respondents said that nutrition labels provide all the information they want about their food. 58% said nutrition labels sometimes provide the information they care about. And just 4% said that nutrition labels don’t provide the information they want about their food.

Important Features

Different people look for different types of factors when determining which foods to buy. What are the most important items nutrition labels can include? Caloric content was ranked as the most important factor on nutrition labels by 29% of respondents. Fat content was chosen as the second most important factor, followed by vitamins, nutrients and protein. Sodium and sugars were ranked as not very important. And cholesterol was chosen as the least important factor by 50% of respondents.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light Label from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on January 28 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.