The article reviews an analysis of the textual construction of Swedish baby food labels for infant formula, gruel and baby porridge. The analysis was performed as part of an EU-project called "Design and accessibility of baby food labelling from the consumer’s point of view" in which, in addition to Sweden, four other European countries participated.
Swedish and European labelling legislation forms the foundation for the analysis. Certain information, such as a list of ingredients and preparation instructions, is obligatory on the labels, while other information is prohibited. Examples of prohibited information include pictures or text, which may idealise the use of the product, on infant formula labels.
The methodological approach in the article is partly discourse analytical, because the labels are related to a number of contexts, and partly semiotic, because of the multimodal character of the labels.
It is revealed that there are differences concerning the choice of words and pictures on the labels in the three different product categories. The Swedish gruel and porridge labels tend, with a few exceptions, to be more sales oriented than the infant formula labels, including, for example, a more frequent use of emotive and evaluative words, and a larger number of pictures of smiling parents and babies.
2001. 17-31 p.