Researchers point out that the effect of food product name on consumers’ perceptions of healthfulness is pervasive; and this effect can not be diminished by the presentation of pictures of food items and their ingredients. Thus, even when provided with information that might be used to more accurately infer healthfulness, dieters continue to employ name-based inferences.
The results of this research suggest two strategies that might be used by policy maker to mitigate these effects. The first involves making the product name provide consumer with clear associations of healthfulness. Current FDA regulations surrounding statements of identity on food labels require that common or used food names be listed on product packaging in a manner that is not misleading.
The second strategy is to encourage consumers to evaluate the attributes of food items in s systematic manner. Results of this research show that when consumers evaluate food products in a bottom-up, attribute-by-attribute way, the effect of food product name on health-related inferences are lessened. In line with the current recommendations that have risen out of the marketing literature, this suggests that public policy efforts aimed at encouraging consumers to engage in more extensive processing of nutritional information might lead to better food-related decisions and healthy eating habits. Further research can put focus on encouraging consumers to notice clearly to nutrition information, like labeling strategies and other educational programs that might mitigate the influence of product name and other food-related cues on consumer perceptions of the healthfulness of food products.