Design and Accessibility of Baby-food Labels from the Consumer's Point of View

EU-subsidised project (B5-1000/98/000064)

Design and Accessibility of Baby-food Labels from the Consumer's Point of View:

Study of the labels of infant formulae and cereals in Belgium, Britain, Finland, Spain and Sweden

Key words of the project

  • targeted action
  • new consumer skills
  • consumer confidence in foodstuffs

Project co-ordinator

  • Department of English, University of Oulu, Finland.
  • Responsible person: Prof. Heikki Nyyssönen, Department of English

Partner organisations and contact persons

  • University of Gent, Belgium: Prof. Anne-Marie Vandenbergen, Prof. Stef Slembrouck
  • University of London (Reading from 1 October 1998), Britain: Prof. Guy Cook
  • University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain: Prof. Francisco Xabier Fernandez Polo
  • Stockholm University, Sweden: Prof. Britt-Louise Gunnarsson

Project objective

  • In close co-operation with consumer organisations to educate consumers on how to interpret relevant information in baby-food labels. By means of this initiative, to contribute to the harmonisation of food labelling and food safety in the European Union.

Project timetable

  • Knowledge acquisition stage: identification of the problem area
  • Knowledge accommodation stage: comparison of differences between countries
  • Knowledge dissemination stage: production and distribution of informational material

The project starts 1 September 1998 and lasts for 18 months.


  • Interpretation of labels is not just a question of the information being literally true or informationally complete; interpretation is crucially influenced by discoursal features such as presentation, ordering, assumptions of background knowledge and specific linguistic choices. These factors need to be taken into account in the design of labels. At the same time consumers need to be educated to make effective use of such design so that the accessibility of appropriate and relevant information is improved.

Last updated: 18.10.2017