Can't understand what's written on that bag of veggie crisps? You're not alone - many consumers can't understand scientific jargon written on everyday items found in grocery stores, Unilever's director of external affairs said at a conference on December 1.
Food and beverage manufacturers should take into account language differences when displaying claims from food and safety regulation bodies, Anne Heughan said at the Health Claims 2010 conference in Brussels.
According to Unilever research, UK consumers preferred more emotional wording, while Germans responded better to stronger technical terminology.
Heughan said that in order to ensure that shoppers actually understand food labels, food companies need to "take into account cultures of language - Some languages are just not very flexible."
Local regulatory bodies must work together to create standards applicable across the EU, under the auspices of the European Commission, Heughan said.
Watch a video clip of Anne Heughan speaking here: http://www.nutraingredients.com/Regulation/Linguistic-flexibility-needed-when-using-he alth-claims-on-packs-Unilever
Read European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) most recent regulations on health and nutritional claims here: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/ndatopics/topic/nutrition.htm