Tags: ‘Organic’ Labels Enhance Taste | Consumers Say

‘Organic’ Labels Enhance Taste, Consumers Say

By    |   Wednesday, 03 Apr 2013 11:52 AM

Organic food labels may do more than merely give consumers a sense that they are making a healthier dietary choice. New research by Cornell University finds people who eat food labeled “organic” report that it tastes better than conventionally produced products — and are even willing to pay more for them.
 
The findings suggest organic labels create what researchers dubbed a “health halo” effect. The net result: Consumers report foods that carry “organic” labels are noticeably better in terms of taste, nutrition, and value.
 
To reach their conclusions, researchers from Cornell's Food and Brand Lab recruited 115 people from a shopping mall and asked them to evaluate three pairs of products — two yogurts, two cookies, and two potato chip portions. One item from each food pair was labeled "organic," while the other was labeled "regular."

What the participants didn’t know: All of the product pairs were organic and identical.
 
Participants were then asked to rate the taste and caloric content of each item, and how much they would be willing to pay for the items. The results showed that the "organic" label greatly influenced people's perceptions. The “organic” cookies and yogurt were deemed to have significantly fewer calories — and said to taste “lower in fat” — than the others and people were willing to pay up to 23.4 percent more for them.
 
What’s more, the “organic” cookies and chips were thought to be more nutritious, “organic” chips seemed more appetizing and “organic” yogurt more flavorful. Interestingly, the “regular” cookies were reported to taste better — possibly because people often believe healthy foods are not tasty, the researchers said.
 
Certain people also appear to be more susceptible to this “health halo” effect than others. The study found that people who regularly read nutrition labels, those who regularly buy organic food, and those who exhibit pro-environmental behaviors (such as recycling or hiking) are less susceptible to the organic “health halo” effect.

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Organic food labels may do more than merely give consumers a sense that they are eating healthier. New research by Cornell University finds people who eat food labeled organic report that it tastes better than conventionally produced products.
‘Organic’ Labels Enhance Taste,Consumers Say
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2013-52-03
Wednesday, 03 Apr 2013 11:52 AM
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