News

Do European consumers read the ingredients lists on food packaging?

01 December 2016

The market research company Nielsen has polled consumers in 61 countries worldwide about their food shopping habits. The results reveal that in Germany only one in three consumers is interested in knowing what ingredients are contained in foodstuffs. By contrast, consumers in other European countries are more wary.

They take a closer look at the packaging: 63 per cent in the Ukraine, 59 per cent in Russia and 56 per cent in Romania. On average, 40 per cent of consumers across Europe want to know what foodstuffs contain.

According to Nielsen, the limited interest in Germany is due to the high level of confidence in Germany’s food industry. This was evident from the fact that only 42 per cent of respondents deemed home-made foods safer than industrially manufactured products.

In Germany, only one in five consumers (21 per cent) are interested in knowing whether foodstuffs contain ingredients such as carbohydrates, fat, lactose or gluten and, if so, in which quantities. In Europe as a whole, the corresponding figure is 29 per cent, i.e. almost one in three. Germans are also less concerned about artificial additives with so-called E numbers. Just over 50 per cent of Germans avoid artificial colourings, preservatives and aromas, compared with an average of 60 per cent of consumers across Europe as a whole.