Can Voluntary Nutrition Labeling Lead to a Healthier Food Market?

This article reviews approaches to voluntary nutrition labeling (VNL), such as front-ofpackage (FOP) labels, that emerged in the 2001-2014 period to provide simplified nutrition information, thus lowering the search cost for nutritional information. We present a market model to assess consumer and producer responses to changes in information search cost brought about by VNL. We specifically focus on the introduction of VNL in the ready-toeat cereal (RTEC) market and illustrate trends in labeling and the overall healthfulness of RTEC products. Both the conceptual and empirical evidence suggest that VNL has been instrumental in attaining a healthier RTEC market. Finally, we suggest a research agenda to further theory development and empirical (experimental and big data) research to better comprehend the role of VNL in relation to market healthfulness.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
D12; L66; I19; M30

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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