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Project Plan

Phase 1

Providing an overview of the process and strategies involved in the formulation, regulation and dissemination of health claims from science to the consumer in two additional cultural and linguistic contexts.

In this phase of the project, we will be gathering information through interviews with industry representatives in Romania and Hungary on the processes and challenges involved in placing EFSA-authorized health claims on food packaging, with further reference to the challenges of working in multilingual markets from legislation that is originally in English. Parallel to this, we will explore through focus groups how consumers in these countries interpret and understand EFSA-authorized health claims and what kind of information they pay particular attention to when it comes to health messages on food packs. The aim is to identify linguistic, visual and marketing attributes that play a key role in consumers' understanding of health information on food packaging and the differences between these distinct cultural and linguistic contexts, as well as drawing comparisons to the existing differences identified across Germany, France and Poland in 2020.

Phase 2

Adaptation of the interactive website in collaboration with consumers, industry and academics to enable consumers to engage in a novel, personable and participatory way with health claims through a range of online activities.

We will develop our interactive website to engage consumers with health claims in a range of gamified activities in Romanian and Hungarian as well as in English, German, French and Polish. Existing activities on the platform will be adapted in order to gather equivalent information from these two linguistic and cultural contexts, by considering insights obtained in Phase 1 and the types of transformations that health claims undergo in these contexts. This will help us further assess the contributions of different linguistic, visual and marketing attributes to the understanding and trust in foods that are marketed with EFSA-authorzed health claims.

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Phase 3

Formulation of Best Practice Guidelines for manufacturers and retailers on effective ways to formulate and disseminate scientific health claims; development of Recommendations for European Policy Makers and Regulators on how to better comply with the EU regulation that food claims can be understood by the intended consumer.

The analyses of data from Phase 1 and 2 will lead to the development of best practice guidelines for food manufactures and retailers marketing in Romania and Hungary to help them use EFSA-authorized health claims on food packaging in the most effective way that is also well understood by consumers. Together with all stakeholders, we will develop a set of further observations and recommendations for the European policy makers and regulators on how to formulate and disseminate health claims that they are well understood by the average consumer, taking into account cross-cultural and cross-linguistic factors.

Phase 4

Design and development of a 'Research, Analytics & Consumer Insights' platform.

Data collected in 2019 and 2020 will be used in the design and development of a new platform aimed at all stakeholders. This will give them access to data on consumer insights with regard to consumers' knowledge of nutrition and health claims, perception of similarity of meaning, purchasing behaviour and presentations preferences, and hence disseminate project findings to food manufacturers, regulators and other interested parties alike. This platform will be showcased through a webinar and stakeholder workshop in the last months of the project year.