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Calorie Posting in Chain Restaurants

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  • Bollinger, Bryan
  • Leslie, Phillip
  • Sorensen, Alan

Abstract

We study the impact of mandatory calorie posting on consumers’ purchase decisions, using detailed data from Starbucks. We find that average calories per transaction falls by 6%. The effect is almost entirely related to changes in consumers’ food choices—there is almost no change in purchases of beverage calories. There is no impact on Starbucks profit on average, and for the subset of stores located close to their competitor Dunkin Donuts, the effect of calorie posting is actually to increase Starbucks revenue. Survey evidence and analysis of commuters suggest the mechanism for the effect is a combination of learning and salience.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by American Association of Wine Economists in its series Working Papers with number 56693.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aawewp:56693

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Web page: http://www.wine-economics.org
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Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

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  1. Currie, Janet & DellaVigna, Stefano & Moretti, Enrico & Pathania, Vikram, 2009. "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity," Working Papers 47830, American Association of Wine Economists.
  2. Sara Bleich & David Cutler & Christopher Murray & Alyce Adams, 2007. "Why Is The Developed World Obese?," NBER Working Papers 12954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1145-77, September.
  4. Hongbin Cai & Yuyu Chen & Hanming Fang, 2009. "Observational Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 864-82, June.
  5. Shin-Yi Chou & Inas Rashad & Michael Grossman, 2008. "Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Childhood Obesity," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 599-618, November.
  6. Anderson, Michael L. & Matsa, David A., 2010. "Are Restaurants Really Supersizing America?," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt4vm5m5vr, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  7. David Dranove & Daniel Kessler & Mark McClellan & Mark Satterthwaite, 2003. "Is More Information Better? The Effects of "Report Cards" on Health Care Providers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 555-588, June.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Posting calories in restaurants is Pareto improving
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-02-26 15:44:00
  2. [??]???????????
    by himaginary in himaginaryの日記 on 2012-06-30 07:00:00
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Cited by:
  1. Goddard, Ellen W. & Drescher, Larissa S. & Fernando, Jeewani, 2012. "The potential impact of the Health Check™ on diet quality of food away from home purchases," 2012 AAEA/EAAE Food Environment Symposium, May 30-31, Boston, MA 123523, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. FLEURBAEY, Marc & SHOKKAERT, Erik, . "Equity in health and health care," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2373, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Holmes, Ashley & Serrano, Elena & Davis, George C., 2011. "The Effect of Alternative Nutrition Menu Labels on Children’s Meals Purchases and Parent-Child Decision-Making," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103816, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  4. Papoutsi, Georgia & Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo, 2011. "The causes of childhood obesity: A survey," MPRA Paper 30992, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Hunt Allcott & Michael Greenstone, 2012. "Is There an Energy Efficiency Gap?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
  6. Kelly Bedard & Peter J. Kuhn, 2013. "Making Nutritional Information Digestible: Effects of a Receipt-Based Intervention on Restaurant Purchases," NBER Working Papers 19654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Anil R. Doshi & Glen W.S. Dowell & Michael W. Toffel, 2011. "How Firms Respond to Mandatory Information Disclosure," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-001, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2012.
  8. Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Labartino, Giovanna, 2012. "More Apples Less Chips? The Effect of School Fruit Schemes on the Consumption of Junk Food," IZA Discussion Papers 6496, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Wang, Dan & Grebitus, Carola & Schroeter, Christiane, 2014. "The Influence of Social Networks on Food Choices in College Food Courts," 2014 AAEA/EAAE/CAES Joint Symposium: Social Networks, Social Media and the Economics of Food, May 29-30, 2014, Montreal, Canada 166092, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association & Canadian Agricultural Economics Society & European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  10. Ellison, Brenna D. & Lusk, Jayson L. & Davis, David W., 2012. "Effect of Menu Labeling on Caloric Intake and Restaurant Revenue in Full-Service Restaurants," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 123325, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  11. Loureiro, Maria L. & Rahmani, Djamal, 2013. "Calorie labeling and fast food choices in surveys and actual markets: some new behavioral results," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150622, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  12. Michael Luca & Georgios Zervas, 2013. "Fake It Till You Make It: Reputation, Competition, and Yelp Review Fraud," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-006, Harvard Business School.

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