Title: Spin or fair speak: When food products start talking

Period: 2007-2013.

Funding: Programme Committee for Food and Health under the Danish Council for Strategic Research (7,999,715, 00 DKK).

Brief description: Based on an in-depth review of 821 cases assessed by the Danish food authorities, the project set up a typology of recurrent conflict scenarios found on the Danish food market in relation to the labelling and packaging of commercial food products. The scenarios identified were subject to an integrated cross-disciplinary analysis drawing on concepts and insights from the areas of language & cognition, psycholinguistics, visual perception, knowledge management, consumer sociology, consumer behaviour, and marketing law. On this background, a series of experiments were designed and conducted to assess the potential misleadingness of concrete packaging design solutions and single out non-misleading alternatives. The ultimate goal was to contribute new insights to the formation of a common frame of reference for authorities, companies, and consumers for assessing whether and how the presentation of a food product is likely to mislead consumers – while also supporting the Danish food industry in developing new healthy and tasty products presented in a fair way to all consumers.

Participating research institutions:

The FairSpeak Group, Copenhagen Business School (CBS).

The Food Sociology Group, KU LIFE, University of Copenhagen.

The Sensory Group, DTU Food, Technical University of Denmark.

The Humanities Lab, Lund University Cognitive Science.

Participating NGOs and companies:

Danish Consumer Council

Danish Active Consumers

Arla Foods

Lantmännen Schulstad

Toms Group