VYPR Purchase Intent Report

Consumer Response To NHS Advice On 100 Calorie Limit For Child Snacks

New NHS guidelines advise limiting children’s snacks to two-a-day, each under 100 calories, following Public Health England warnings that primary school children could be consuming 3x their recommended daily limit of sugar. VYPR commissioned a report on what this means for purchase intent among consumers and the results are in.

Over 74% of the VYPR panel (representative of the UK population) claimed to be aware of the new Change4Life guidelines, with a similar number claiming that they would heed the new guidelines. Currently, over 65% of consumers claim to check calorie content on pack when making purchases for children, with 58% claiming to provide their children with 1-2 snacks per day and a further 32% providing 3 snacks or above.

We presented a number of household staple snacks to parents, including products from Dairylea, Kellogg’s, Cadbury, Kinder and Walkers, with calorie content ranging between 95 calories and 218 calories. We tested each product with and without explicit labelling and the results showed a significant shift in purchase intent. Overall, explicit labelling on calorie content resulted in an average variation of 4% in purchase intent, either positively or negatively.

For instance, a 21g pack of Raspberry Yoghurt Coated Flakes containing 113 calories suffered a decrease of 11.9%, whereas a 37g Kellogg’s Strawberry Nutrigrain Breakfast Fruity Bar containing 131 calories increased purchase intent by 3.6%. Whereas 101g Ham & Cheese Dairylea Lunchables Stackers containing 218 calories increased by 3%, a 18g Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo containing 95 calories reduced by 4.9%.

All other things being equal, our research suggests that a combination of the new advice from the NHS and more explicit labelling on calorie content combined will perhaps shift product perceptions on healthiness and purchase intent over time. Interestingly, it would appear that there isn’t necessarily a positive link between displaying calorie content under 100 calories and improved purchase intent, suggesting that this triggers a reappraisal of the value of the product overall.

At VYPR, we enable fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses to turn product innovation into a science, ensuring successful outcomes of the product development process. Every week, we test 1000s of variables that make up every product with consumers, providing effective tools and techniques that deliver fast, statistically robust and consumer-led intelligence to enhance, accelerate and predict existing/new product performance.

Ben Davies, VYPR CEO: “We’re confident that applying VYPR to products that fall within the revised NHS guidelines will enable product marketers to better understand – and quickly respond to – the potential impact on sales by reengineering products to maintain relevance, protect sales and ensure continued adoption by consumers.”

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