Half of Britons admit to snack serving size confusion

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Half of UK consumers don't know what constitutes as one serving of snacks, claims a new survey
Half of UK consumers don't know what constitutes as one serving of snacks, claims a new survey

Related tags: Portion sizes, Snack food, Director

More than half of UK consumers admit to not knowing what constitutes a single serving of snacks such as crisps, revealed a new survey commissioned by gluten-free snack manufacturer Wellaby’s.

The results released today (July 12) found that up to one-third of consumers felt they had been misled into buying larger bags of snacks, without realising what the recommended serving sizes are for a single portion.

More than a third of respondents (36%) said they did not think serving size labelling on crisps and snacks was clear enough. They felt labelling needed to be obvious and clearly state on the front of a pack if it contained more than a single serving.

A further 36% believed manufacturers needed to ensure people knew if they are eating more than one serving, as many assumed that a bag of crisps is suitable as a single serving.

Not checking snack labelling

However, a quarter admitted to not checking snack labelling for serving sizes.

Wellaby’s asked whether consumers needed to take more responsibility for their food choices, or if manufacturers needed to make serving sizes more transparent and obvious.

Strategic development director Sue Warren said manufacturers could do more to inform consumers on portions sizes.

The findings of this recent study are interesting.  We believe that retailers and manufacturers do have a duty of care to provide the right information to consumers and to ensure labelling is transparent and not misleading,”​ said Warren.

‘Industry can’t take responsibility’

Having said that, when it comes to making the purchase, the industry can’t take responsibility for the decisions and choices people make. Balanced snacking should be about making healthy choices where possible and having a treat from time to time, but in moderation.”

Wellaby’s wanted to see more debate over whether manufacturers needed to educate consumers on correct portion sizes, or if it should be the consumer’s responsibility, added Warren.

“We all need to play our part in the quest to reduce obesity in this country and to encourage healthier choices and a greater sense of responsibility and that has to be a two-way process.”

Meanwhile, key insights into the multi-billion pound global snacks industry are on offer in our free one-hour webinar, Sustainable snacking trends for 2017,​ from the Food Manufacture Group.

Wellaby’s survey on portion sizes – at a glance

  • More than half of respondents do not know how big a single portion of snacks is
  • 36% didn’t think labelling on portion sizes was clear enough
  • A quarter didn’t check for portion sizes on snack packaging
  • 36% said more needed to be done to ensure people knew if they were consuming more than one portion

Related topics: People & Skills, Ambient foods, Obesity

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