Article – Ecuador: Traffic-light Nutrition Labeling Preferences among Ecuadorian Children

This study evaluates the effect of traffic-light (TL) nutritional label attributes on Ecuadorian children’s food choices. Data was collected from a survey of 1,179 Ecuadorian students attending public middle and high school in three major cities located in the southern region of the country (Machala, Loja, and Zamora). The survey instrument included two sets of choice experiments: one with yogurt products and the other with soft drinks (sodas and juice). In the choice scenarios, children were presented with two products that differed in price and the TL label colors for sugar, salt, and fat. Children’s product selections in the choice experiments were analyzed using mixed logit models. Results indicate that children are willing to pay increasing premium levels for products with yellow, green, and “does not contain…” labels compared to products with red labels. Overall, study findings offer evidence that TL labels are effective at helping children make food choices consistent with preferences for food products with TL labels representing healthier alternatives.