A recent study by Jones et al. (2021), aimed to explore how alcohol packaging, messaging and warnings could raise awareness, engagement and response to health information.
By conducting eight focus groups with current drinkers, results show that unaided recall of some health information and messaging was high. However, most participants did not attend to or meaningfully engage with these, viewing them as unnoticeable, obscure and ineffective. Also, participants were skeptical of alcohol companies’ motivations with respect to health messaging on products. They were surprised to see the novel warnings on alcohol products but generally supported their inclusion. Most thought that these warnings could increase awareness of alcohol-related harms, particularly for younger or potential drinkers. Large, combined (text and image) warnings with specific messages on the front of packaging were considered most engaging and potentially effective.
The main conclusion is that health-related information and messaging on alcohol packaging in Scotland is failing to inform consumers about the potential risks associated with alcohol use. Prominent warnings on alcohol packaging could help to capture attention, increase awareness of alcohol-related harms, and may support a reduction in consumption and alcohol-related harms.
If you wish to know more about this study, click on the following link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/16066359.2021.1884229.
Jones, D., Moodie, C., Purves, R. I., Fitzgerald, N., Crockett, R. (2021). Health information, messaging and warnings on alcohol packaging: a focus group study with young adult drinkers in Scotland. Addiction Research and Theory, 29(6), 469-478. doing.org/20.2080/16066359.2021.1884229