Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have recently published the findings of consumer research carried out on pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS).
FSS commissioned JRS – the Research Consortium, to carry out qualitative research with consumers with food allergies and intolerances and parents of children with food allergies and intolerances.
Eight online focus groups and eight online depth interviews were conducted with a total of 44 consumers living in different parts of Scotland. The fieldwork was carried out between 6th and 9th March 2023 and explored:
- Consumers’ food issues and the impact on their lives.
- Consumer understanding and behaviour around PPDS foods.
- Awareness and understanding of the new legislation.
- Food information and labelling.
- Impact of PPDS labelling requirements.
The main conclusions were:
- Many participants had an imperfect understanding of what constitutes PPDS food, and the great majority had no awareness of the new requirements.
- Despite lack of awareness, there was a broad and positive awareness that food labelling generally, and food allergen labelling specifically, had improved over the last few years.
- However, participants did not link the big improvements they have seen in food labelling to the new requirements.
- While the improvements that consumers are aware of in food allergen labelling are hugely welcome, they have not impacted behaviour to any great extent to date.
- The limited impact on behaviour is partly due to a strong tendency among people who are living with food allergies and intolerances to stick with what they know and trust.
The research can be downloaded in full here.