Clear information required for food

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Consumer advocates are demanding clear information on food

The confusing information, advertising promises and seals of approval on the packaging of food have the consequence that consumers are increasingly oriented towards the price and not the quality. This is the result of the study "Trends in Food Marketing" presented by the Federal Association of Consumer Centers on Wednesday.

Although customers have a growing interest in the quality of their food, according to the current study, there is an increased risk that the price and not the quality will become the decisive purchase criterion. The reason for this is the confusing information on the packaging and the confusion of seals and quality marks, which discourages consumers. "If advertised quality features do not work as a guide, the price becomes the only relevant feature for the purchase decision," said the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations (vzbv).

Something is going fundamentally wrong in the food market. Because the advertising promises, seals and quality marks are too confusing for the consumer and do not allow an assessment of the food quality, "the price beats the quality", consumer protectionists criticize the current market development. Due to a lack of legal provisions on the information on foods, customers are being deprived of the opportunity to evaluate, compare and check the quality of the foods. The board of the Federal Association of Consumer Centers, Gerd Billen, said: “Something is fundamentally wrong in the food market. There is often a big gap between advertising and product reality, which politicians and manufacturers have to close. "The responsible parties are asked to create reasonable conditions for a functioning quality competition, since otherwise there is a risk of" ruinous price and ultimately quality dumping ", the vzbv announced . In the long term, quality manufacturers would be pushed out of the market, so "clear rules and standards are in the interest of consumers and providers," emphasized Gerd Billen.

New legal requirements for more truth and clarity in food required The study "Trends in Food Marketing", commissioned by the Federal Association of Consumer Centers, shows that consumers are actually becoming increasingly interested in high quality standards and organically and regionally produced foods. However, given the confusing information on the packaging, many seem to feel overwhelmed and therefore resort to the cheapest product. Here the consumer advocates see a market failure that should be remedied immediately. They therefore demanded more truth from the manufacturers and stricter regulations from the legislature for more clarity. The vzbv also demanded that more "reliable labels", such as the state German organic label or the more far-reaching organic labels of certain associations, be introduced as orientation aids for consumers. Furthermore, consumer interests should generally be given greater weight and future customers should be asked before the introduction of food products whether the information is understandable to avoid confusion or misleading statements, according to the Federal Association of Consumer Centers. (fp)

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