Study on consumer perception regarding the label declaration of allergens by E-commerce food operators


  • Shobhit Ambawat Guru Jambhesshwar University of scence and Technology,Hisar,Haryana


Food allergy, E-commerce food services, food intolerance, regulation, consumer preference


Adverse reaction to food is a serious nutritional problem which was earlier reflected upon only by industrialized nations but it is fast catching up with the developing nations. The diverse and unique food culture of India, has acquired its own portfolio of food allergens too. At present, there is no effective medical treatment except avoidance of allergenic foods. E-commerce food services including delivery services and online grocery portal are booming tremendously popularity due to changing lifestyle. In the lockdown period of 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, pre-packaged foods demand have seen the contribution of e-commerce sales uptick. However, customers with allergies and dietary restrictions oftentimes feel ‘disheartened’ from ordering takeaway food. Therefore, we conducted an online survey to gain consumer insights over various domains related to food delivery, including food ingredients,  allergens, labeling, preferences and to  estimate the awareness and occurrence of food related adverse reaction and food allergies in a digital population of India. However, generating precise adverse food reaction prevalence information is somewhat difficult. Throughout this report, most of the graphs represent the aggregated results of all 505 respondents, where out of total, 71 (14%) reported a certain food allergy (FA)/ food intolerance (FI) and 37 (7%) were classified as having a probable FA/ FI. The report also estimated that 15% respondents have one FA and 7% have two and multiple food allergies (FAs). Milk allergy was the most common reported FA. Food allergen labeling is a significant tool to reduce risk of exposure and prevent anaphylaxis for consumers with FAs. Hence, the new regulations must prescribe the provision for labeling of food allergens. It also allows to use of standardized precautionary and safety symbols not on only packaged products but also on the online food service portals. What’s in food must be on the screen.


Turnbull JL, Adams HN, Gorard DA. Review article: the diagnosis and management of food allergy and food intolerances. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015;41(1):3-25. doi:10.1111/apt.12984

Tuck CJ, Biesiekierski JR, Schmid-Grendelmeier P, Pohl D. Food Intolerances. Nutrients. 2019;11(7). doi:10.3390/nu11071684

Lyra NRS, Motta MEFA, Rocha LAR, et al. Adverse Reactions to Foods and Food Allergy: Development and Reproducibility of a Questionnaire for Clinical Diagnosis. J Allergy. 2013;2013. doi:10.1155/2013/920679

Messina M, Venter C. Recent Surveys on Food Allergy Prevalence. Nutr Today. 2020;55(1):22–29. doi:10.1097/NT.0000000000000389

Berin MC, Sampson HA. Food Allergy: An Enigmatic Epidemic. Trends Immunol. 2013;34(8):390-397. doi:10.1016/

Gupta RS, Warren CM, Smith BM, et al. Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies Among US Adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(1):e185630. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.5630

2015 update of the evidence base: World Allergy Organization anaphylaxis guidelines | World Allergy Organization Journal | Full Text. Accessed June 25, 2020.

G A. Living with Food Allergies (Indian Edition). Allergy Insight. Published May 20, 2010. Accessed June 17, 2020.

Anaphylaxis | India| PDF | PPT| Case Reports | Symptoms | Treatment. Accessed June 22, 2020.

Nutrition C for FS and A. Frequently Asked Questions about Food Allergies. FDA. Published online February 11, 2020. Accessed July 8, 2020.

Boyce JA, Assa’ad A, Burks AW, et al. Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126(6 0):S1-58. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2010.10.007

Hadley C. Food allergies on the rise? Determining the prevalence of food allergies, and how quickly it is increasing, is the first step in tackling the problem. EMBO Rep. 2006;7(11):1080-1083. doi:10.1038/sj.embor.7400846

Dey D, Ghosh N, Pandey N, Gupta Bhattacharya S. A Hospital-Based Survey on Food Allergy in the Population of Kolkata, India. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2014;164(3):218-221. doi:10.1159/000365629

Carter CA, Pistiner M, Wang J, Sharma HP. Food Allergy in Restaurants Work Group Report. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2020;8(1):70-74. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2019.09.013

Gilles S, Akdis C, Lauener R, et al. The role of environmental factors in allergy: A critical reappraisal. Exp Dermatol. 2018;27(11):1193-1200. doi:10.1111/exd.13769

Cortes A, Castillo A, Sciaraffia A. Food allergy: Children’s symptom levels are associated with mothers’ psycho-socio-economic variables. J Psychosom Res. 2018;104:48-54. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.11.009

Food Allergy Diagnosis. ACAAI Public Website. Published January 12, 2015. Accessed June 15, 2020.

Challenges in addressing the problem of food allergens. Sathguru News. Published October 30, 2019. Accessed June 14, 2020.

Homepage. Food Allergy Research & Education. Accessed June 19, 2020.

Food Allergy | World Allergy Organization. Accessed June 26, 2020.

FSSAI. Food Safety Mangement Sytem. Published online October 2017.

Swiggy vs Zomato: Battle of India’s Biggest food aggregator. DNA India. Published April 13, 2020. Accessed June 18, 2020.

Bradshaw T, Parkin B. Zomato and Swiggy’s battle for Indian food delivery heats up. Published January 15, 2020. Accessed June 17, 2020.

IANS. In-home consumption of biscuits, salty snacks increases amid lockdown. Business Standard India. Published June 9, 2020. Accessed July 3, 2020.

Trend in lockdown buying: a shift from staples to ready-to-cook. The Indian Express. Published May 11, 2020. Accessed July 3, 2020. In-home consumption surges as people binge on biscuits, salty snacks - ET Retail. Accessed July 3, 2020.

contentteam. FSSAI License Swiggy: Requirements & Documentation | fssaifoodlicense |. fssaifoodlicense. Published December 23, 2019. Accessed June 19, 2020.

FSSAI Food Safety License Registration for Zomato - FSSAI Registration Consultants/Service Provider in India. Accessed June 19, 2020.

Nutrition C for FS and A. Food Allergen Labeling And Consumer Protection Act of 2004 Questions and Answers. FDA. Published online March 25, 2019. Accessed July 5, 2020.

FSSAI Drafts the New Labelling and Display Regulations 2019. Food Safety Helpline. Accessed June 18, 2020.

JOINT FAO/WHO FOOD STANDARDS PROGRAMME CODEX COMMITTEE ON FOOD LABELLING Forty-fifth Session Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 13 - 17 May 2019 DISCUSSION PAPER ON INTERNET SALES / E-COMMERCE (Prepared by the United Kingdom (UK), Chile, Ghana, India and Japan).

Official guidance for Nastaha’s Law published. New Food Magazine. Accessed June 20, 2020.

Hadley C. Food allergies on the rise? Determining the prevalence of food allergies, and how quickly it is increasing, is the first step in tackling the problem. EMBO Rep. 2006;7(11):1080-1083. doi:10.1038/sj.embor.7400846

Food Standards Agency - Customers and consumer advice. Accessed June 20, 2020.

Uber Eats launches in-app allergy notifications worldwide. The Independent. Published September 28, 2019. Accessed June 26, 2020.

DelhiSeptember 24 india today digital N, September 24 2014UPDATED:, Ist 2014 09:54. Anaphylaxis. India Today. Accessed June 22, 2020.

A Guide to Eating Out. Anaphylaxis Campaign. Accessed July 8, 2020.

Impact Of The Consumer Protection Act 2019 On The Food Industry And Food Aggregators - Consumer Protection - India. Accessed June 27, 2020.

Nutrition C for FS and A. Food Allergens. FDA. Published February 11, 2020. Accessed July 8, 2020.



How to Cite

S. Ambawat, “Study on consumer perception regarding the label declaration of allergens by E-commerce food operators”, FASJ, vol. 1, no. 3, Sep. 2020.