Sunday, 31 May 2015

Consumer reactions to the use of EU quality labels on food products: A review of the literature

Volume 59, January 2016, Pages 178–187

Consumer reactions to the use of EU quality labels on food products: A review of the literature


Literature that analyzes effects of EU quality labels on consumers is reviewed.
Results indicate low to medium levels of consumer awareness of these labels.
Consumers associate these labels with quality, uniqueness and protection of producers.
Use in decision-making depends on other cues available and is probably low.
More research at point of purchase is needed.


The EU promotes three types of food quality labels, PDO, PGI and TSG in order to protect producers of food with special qualities and to aid consumers in their decision-making. This papers reviews published research on how these labels affect consumers. 35 studies were identified and are reviewed based on a hierarchy of effects framework. While results are conflicting, some overall themes emerge, suggesting that the role of these quality labels in consumer decision-making at present is still relatively low. Suggestions for research are made that would provide a better basis for evidence-based policy formulation with regard to food quality labels.


  • EU quality labels;
  • Literature review;
  • Consumer behaviour

Corresponding author.