How does scientific information reach the consumer? A case study among students into providing verbal information on dietary supplements at point of purchase

Karin Lenssen, Aalt Bast*, Alie de Boer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Consumers of dietary supplements should be made aware of the benefits and risks of these products. This case study therefore aimed to identify the content of the risk-benefit information provided during the purchase of St. John’s wort supplements and how consumers perceive this information. Fifteen participants visited a shop to purchase St. John’s wort supplements after which they were interviewed on the provided information during the visit. This case study shows that the spontaneous information provision is not consistent in Dutch drugstores and health food shops. The provided information was either very detailed, or no information was given at all. The perceived reliability of information was mainly determined by the authority of the employee and the type of shop where the product was purchased. Information consistency at the moment of purchase is of influence in the perceived value of it.

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