EUFIC Portion Size Study: Consumer Research on how Consumers Interpret and use Portion Information on Food and Drink Packaging


Portion information often appears on food and drink labels but little is known about how consumers interpret and use this information. To find out EUFIC has collaborated with Dr Monique Raats to carry out an online survey of 13,117 consumers in 6 EU countries (Germany, UK, Spain, France, Poland and Sweden).

In a climate of overweight and obesity, how much consumers eat is just as important as what they eat.  This is the most comprehensive study of consumers use of portion information in Europe. It provides evidence that when portion information is present on pack in addition to per 100g/100ml information, consumers can apply it to help them to use nutrition information correctly. Whilst there is an opportunity to educate consumers on what constitutes a portion and how they are set, the challenge remains to encourage consumers to look for and use this information.

Initial findings

  • About half of respondents considered portion size relevant to them and the majority of these considered it to mean the amount they should eat in one sitting
  • For the majority of products respondents agreed that given portion sizes were realistic
  • In general portion information did indeed make nutritional information more useful to respondents
  • Most consumers surveyed did not know how portion sizes were set or who set them
  • As pack size increased respondents’ estimates of the number of portions inside and the actual number of portions given by the manufacturers became more consistent

For more detail of these initial results, please see the EUFIC webinar available on the EUFIC website