march 2022

Risk perception and acceptance of health warning labels on wine

Wine is an essential part of European culture. Unfortunately, the consumption of alcohol, such as wine, can have negative health effects. Health warning labels (HWLs) are increasingly presented as a measure to warn consumers of the threat alcohol poses to their health. At present, only a few countries in Europe have introduced mandatory HWLs on wine bottles. This may be due to the cultural and economic significance of wine and the European public’s refusal to accept HWLs on a product like wine.

To investigate this issue, we conducted an online experiment in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and assessed the perception of risk in participants who were presented wine bottles featuring different types of HWLs. We also studied how health beliefs and cultural worldviews influence the perception and acceptance of HWLs. Our study revealed a small effect of HWLs on consumers’ risk perception. There was no difference between a simple text-only HWL and a label featuring a deterring picture (image-and-text HWL).

The major determinants of HWL acceptability were cultural worldviews and health beliefs. That is, participants who opposed government intervention for collective wellbeing and espoused a belief in the health benefits of wine were less likely to accept HWLs on wine. More research is needed to assess the effectiveness of HWLs in real-life situations and the importance of culture to the acceptance of such a public intervention measure.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Staub Cornelia; Fuchs Claudia; Siegrist Michael
  • Issue

    Food Quality and Preference, Volume 96, 2022, 104435,
  • Published Date

    march 2022