A packaged foods company retained Cornerstone Research and a marketing expert to determine if the “100% Natural” label impacted consumers’ purchasing behavior.
A packaged foods company retained Cornerstone Research and Professor Dominique Hanssens of the University of California, Los Angeles, in a product labeling class action. The case centered on whether the “100% Natural” label on one of the company’s products impacted consumers’ purchasing behavior or understanding of the label’s association with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
To assess these questions, Professor Hanssens conducted an online consumer survey using test and control groups. Both groups were shown images of the product and were asked how likely they were to purchase it and what factors influenced their decision. All references to “100% Natural” were removed from the control group’s images.
The survey results showed no significant differences between the two groups, demonstrating the label had no discernable impact on stated purchase intent. Instead, consumers cited purchase factors such as brand, taste, and quality, with very few mentions of the “100% Natural” label.
Professor Hanssens also surveyed consumers’ understanding of the association between the “100% Natural” label and the presence of GMOs in the product. There were no significant differences between the two groups, indicating that the label was not a direct cause of such an association. In addition, few respondents thought “100% Natural” meant the product was free of GMOs.