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Poll shows consumers believe current E15 label doesn’t protect them

Industry News | December 8, 2020 | By:

The results of a new national poll initiated by a group of organizations representing manufacturers, retailers and consumers of non-road engine equipment and products reveals that most consumers find current E15 labeling at gas pumps to be ineffective in communicating the dangers of this type of fuel for usage in small engines like those in boats, off road vehicles, motorcycles and lawn mowers.

Led by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), the survey, conducted by Survey Monkey during the week of Nov. 2, 2020, polled a nationally representative pool of 515 users aged 20 to 65 on their awareness of E15, a type of gasoline blended with 10.5-15% ethanol.

Among the survey’s key findings:

  • Only 18.25% of consumers think the current E15 label used at gas pumps across the country is very effective in showing that E15 is hazardous to certain types of engines.
  • Consumers were more than four times as likely to prefer a prototype design with direct language and visual representations of the fuel’s risk, saying the improved label elements of the prototype more clearly serve as a warning than the current label.
  • 77.5% of respondents cited red as the best color of a label to convey warning, a contrast to the existing label color.
  • More than 80% of respondents found the use of icons and visuals to be more effective than text-only versions.
  • Considering only the text on the labels, consumers were twice as likely to say that the prototype had more effective language in communicating the hazards and risks of E15 than the real label.

Beyond the design and wording of the label, another concern for consumers is the inconsistent placement of the E15 label at gas pumps: Roughly 70% of consumers noted that inconsistent or hidden E15 label placement made the labels less effective overall. This survey follows recent consideration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to change or remove E15 labels altogether to encourage greater use of the biofuel.

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