Survey- Do Indians read nutrition and ingredient labels?

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Divya Kandwal
July 30, 2019
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NUMR recently conducted a survey¹ about Ingredient and Nutrition labels, enquiring if people glance at them prior to purchasing a product.

The production and sale of pre-packaged and ‘Ready to consume’ products has witnessed a huge surge in the last few decades in India. Prolonged work hours, longer commutes, generational shift from a joint to a nuclear family have made Indian urbanites the busiest they have ever been. Consequently, packaged products have become a significant addition to the Indian household.

Labels, therefore, have become increasingly important since they convey key information about the product at the point of sale.

Given below is the result of the survey.


Do you look at the nutrition labels before buying or consuming a product?


93% Indians claim to read the labels on packaged foods. However, further inquiry revealed that for most of the respondents, reading labels is mostly confined to the brand name, price and the Date of Expiry.


Rank the following shown on nutrition labels on the basis of how important they are in driving your purchase decision. (1 being the most important and 6 the least)

According to a study published in The Lancet, ‘The Changing Patterns of Cardiovascular Diseases and Their Risk Factors in the States of India’, deaths caused by cardiac diseases have doubled since 1990, increasing from 15.2% in 1990 to 29.1% in 2016. Cholesterol, alone is responsible for about 30% of these deaths. Hypertension, on the other hand accounts for 53.8% out of all deaths caused by cardio-vascular diseases. Which is why, it is alarming to see Sodium ranked last on the list of nutrients Indian look at. Indians consume almost double the recommended amount of salt.


Rank the following ingredients on the basis of what you mostly focus on when buying a product. (1 being the most important and 6 the least)

Also, the following were ranked first by people-

Numr’s nutrition label survey also uncovered that for 41% of people, ‘Added sugar’ is the biggest deterrent while for another 22%, it’s ‘Preservatives’. Meanwhile, 15% respondents ranked ‘Palm Oil’ as the first ingredient they look for in packaged products. The devastating environmental effects of Palm Oil are just beginning to be known by the general population. As concern about physical health rises, so does concern about the environment.


¹ SEC A1.
Online Panel.

A total of 500 respondents across various demographics were surveyed. These respondents all belonged to the top 8 cities, namely Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai and were at least 22 years of age, at the time of answering the survey. These respondents were affluent, tech savvy urbanites who routinely use OTT platforms, are extremely health conscious and keenly aware of changing market trends.

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