New research project on how parents respond to child-oriented food packaging


In September 2022, Bram Uyttenhove started as a PhD researcher in the CEPEC research group at Ghent University. His research focuses on how parents respond to child-oriented food packaging. Indeed, parents pursue different, sometimes conflicting, goals when purchasing food for the child, often simplified in literature to 'fun vs. health goals'. Although child-oriented food packaging contains elements that provide info on the nutritional value of a product (health aspect, e.g., Nutri-score, ingredient list and written health appeals), fun-oriented cues such as bright colours and cartoon characters tend to be displayed more prominently on products. Specifically, this four-year project aims to investigate how child-oriented product packaging influences parents' goals system and decision-making process.


This project contains several research objectives:

- To investigate which goals are primed when seeing food packaging.

- To identify how parents deal with goal conflicts.

- Exploring the ethical aspect of child-oriented food packaging.

- Through an intervention study, explore how to help parents make healthier choices.


For this PhD project, Bram is supervised by Liselot Hudders, Dieneke Van de Sompel (both UGent) and Ini Vanwesenbeeck (Tilburg University).