A Comparison of the Usage of Numerical Versus Verbal Nutrition Information by Consumers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The objective of this paper is to compare verbal versus numerical presentations in facilitating the usage of nutrition information by consumers. Verbal nutrition information, due to its descriptive nature, is argued to be used to a greater degree than numerical nutrition information, which requires a reference point in order to be interpreted. Hypotheses are developed and tested to evaluate this proposition. The results of an experiment suggest that verbal information may have several advantages in terms of weight given to brand information in making judgments of healthiness, accuracy of subsequent ratings of brands based on attribute information, and accuracy of recall of brand information. These advantages appear to persist even when numerical information is presented with summary information to facilitate its interpretation. This research demonstrates several advantages for verbal when compared to numerical nutrition information. Implications for consumer research on nutrition information in particular and product information in general are discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Consumer Research
EditorsKim P. Corfman, John G. Lynch, Jr.
Place of PublicationProvo, UT
PublisherAssociation for Consumer Research
StatePublished - 1996


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