UNDERSTANDING THE EFFECTS OF SNACK FOOD PACKAGING LABELS ON CONSUMER DECISIONS IN PREPARATION FOR MANDATORY GMO LABELING

Open Access
Author:
Staub, Haley Ann
Area of Honors:
Advertising/Public Relations
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Ann Marie Major, Thesis Supervisor
  • Steve Manuel, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • snack food
  • GMO
  • genetic technology
  • packaging
  • labels
  • legislation
  • consumer
  • analysis
  • green marketing
  • holistic health
Abstract:
There is a dual purpose of this paper. First, I will seek to understand the history and legal implications of genetic engineering technology as it applies to snack food package labeling by means of a literature review. Second, I will employ critical discourse analysis to explore snack food packaging by examining packaging labels, and the language used to convey health and nutritional information to consumers. Finally, I will draft recommendations for snack food companies regarding marketing best practices to target the snack food consumer and prepare to adopt the standards of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) signed by President Obama in 2016, which gives the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture two years to publish a federal mandatory disclosure. The results of the 12-package analysis informed best practices for marketers as the new mandatory labeling law shifts the costs to the presence of genetically engineered ingredients, rather than absence. Companies and marketers can be ahead of the curve by focusing on holistic health and creating a positive buying experience; determining their niche within the snack food industry to identify a specific consumer audience (whether it be green consumers or a specific age demographic); and remembering the number one purchasing indicator that requires no label at all — taste.