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Abstract

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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