Only 39% of consumers feel well-informed about the nutritional content of food and drink products they consume, with ready meals faring particularly poorly, according to new research.

A survey of 1,499 consumers concluded that food and drinks brands need to do more to provide more nutritional information on their products.

However, the Impact Research study found that some categories are perceived better than others in terms of product information, with 45% of consumers who buy yogurt feeling well-informed – compared to just 29% in the ready meals category.

Just 17% feel that manufacturers care about improving the nutritional content of their products to make them healthier, while only 39% feel there are healthier options available giving consumers a choice of which product to buy.

In the absence of trust with manufacturers themselves, consumers are attaching value to the opinion of those in their ‘circle of trust’, the research found.

Impact Research head of consumer research Stuart Grant said: “The food and drink industry needs to be more transparent in its messaging, otherwise it will remain outside consumers’ ‘circle of trust, creating a barrier to brands moving towards healthier products and thereby meeting shoppers’ changing needs and expectations.”