Food In Canada

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Canadians not buying into health claims

A recent poll has found that Canadian consumers don’t believe health claims on food products


A recent Ipsos Reid survey has found nearly half of Canadian consumers don’t believe the health claims on food products.

Ipsos Reid conducted the survey for Global National and Postmedia News.

The survey found that 53 per cent of Canadians believe health claims made on food labels, reports a story in the Montreal Gazette.

And most of these people only “somewhat agree” (47 per cent) with the statement they believe the health claims on food labels, compared with only five per cent of Canadians who “strongly believe” that statement.

Overall, the survey found, 47 per cent say they don’t believe health claims made on food labels, including nine per cent who feel strongly about it. Younger Canadians age 18 to 34 are the least likely to be skeptics, while those 55 years old are the most likely to distrust label claims.

Among the regions, the percentage of those consumers most likely to believe health claims is as follows:

• Quebec consumers at 59 per cent;
• Atlantic consumers at 54 per cent;
• Ontario consumers at 53 per cent; and
• Western consumers at 47 per cent.

When it comes to ingredients such as probiotics, seven in 10 consumers (72 per cent) responded that they believe the live microorganisms added to food products improve their health.

Eight in 10 consumers (79 per cent) believe adding omega-3 fatty acids to food products make them healthier.

But the survey says only 44 per cent of Canadians are willing to pay more for products that make health claims.

The mean increase in food prices acceptable to those willing to pay extra is 12.8 per cent, according to the poll.