Seeing Is Not Believing: Perceptions of Date Labels over Food and Attributes

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This study investigates consumers’ perceptions of date labels (“Best by” and “Use by”) between different food items (spaghetti sauce and deli meat) and across different attributes (nutrition, quality, safety, and taste). We collected data from experimental auctions and a survey held in cities located in two different regions of the United States. Previous research suggests that confusion over date labels contributes to waste. Thus, we ask respondents to indicate the meaning of date labels for products over attributes. Overall we find that respondents have differing conceptions of date labels by product and over attributes, which reflects confusion over the date labels. However, the differences, while statistically significant, are not large enough to suggest a reversal of perception from agreement to disagreement in the meaning of the date label for specific attributes. The findings question the effectiveness of a two-date label regime to reduce food waste.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wilson, NLW; Miao, R; Weis, C

Published Date

  • July 4, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 611 - 631

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1540-4102

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1045-4446

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/10454446.2018.1472700

Citation Source

  • Scopus