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The Importance of Product Reformulation Versus Consumer Choice in Improving Diet Quality

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  • Rachel Griffith
  • Martin O'Connell
  • Kate Smith

Abstract

Improving diet quality has been a major target of public health policy. Governments have encouraged consumers to make healthier food choices and fi rms to reformulate food products. Evaluation of such policies has focused on the impact on consumer behaviour; firm behaviour has been less well studied. We study the recent decline in dietary salt intake in the UK, and show that it was entirely attributable to product reformulation by fi rms; a contemporaneous information campaign had little impact, consumer switching between products in fact worked in the opposite direction and led to a slight increase in the salt intensity of groceries purchased. These findings point to the important role that fi rms can play in achieving public policy goals.
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  • Rachel Griffith & Martin O'Connell & Kate Smith, 2017. "The Importance of Product Reformulation Versus Consumer Choice in Improving Diet Quality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(333), pages 34-53, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:84:y:2017:i:333:p:34-53
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      by Euro American Association EAAEDS in Euro-American Association: World Development on 2018-10-09 19:52:00

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    3. Michael Essman & Lindsey Smith Taillie & Tamryn Frank & Shu Wen Ng & Barry M Popkin & Elizabeth C Swart, 2021. "Taxed and untaxed beverage intake by South African young adults after a national sugar-sweetened beverage tax: A before-and-after study," PLOS Medicine, Public Library of Science, vol. 18(5), pages 1-17, May.
    4. Dickson, Alex & Gehrsitz, Markus & Kemp, Jonathan, 2022. "Does a Spoonful of Sugar Levy Help the Calories Go Down? An Analysis of the UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy," VfS Annual Conference 2022 (Basel): Big Data in Economics 264048, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Stephanie von Hinke, 2022. "Education, Dietary Intakes and Exercise," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 84(1), pages 214-240, February.
    6. Daniel Herrera‐Araujo, 2016. "Folic acid advisories: a public health challenge?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(9), pages 1104-1122, September.
    7. Martinez, Stephen & Taylor, Christopher A. & Hooker, Neal H., 2021. "Measuring the Potential Impact of New and Reformulated Bread and Breakfast Cereal Products on Nutrient Intakes," USDA Miscellaneous 312956, United States Department of Agriculture.
    8. Bercholz, Maxime & Ng, Shu Wen & Stacey, Nicholas & Swart, Elizabeth C., 2022. "Decomposing consumer and producer effects on sugar from beverage purchases after a sugar-based tax on beverages in South Africa," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 46(C).
    9. Cengiz, Ezgi & Rojas, Christian, 2024. "What drives the reduction in sodium intake? Evidence from scanner data," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    10. Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges & Zang, Yu, 2016. "Quality standards versus nutritional taxes: Health and welfare impacts with strategic firms," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 268-285.
    11. Rachel Griffith & Martin O'Connell & Kate Smith & Rebekah Stroud, 2020. "What's on the Menu? Policies to Reduce Young People's Sugar Consumption," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(1), pages 165-197, March.
    12. Staudigel, Matthias & Anders, Sven, 2020. "Effects of the FDA's sodium reduction strategy in the U.S. market for chip products," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 216-238.
    13. Fisher, Paul & Bhalotra, Sonia & Delavande, Adeline & James, Jonathan, 2020. "The impact of a personalised blood pressure warning on health outcomes and behaviours," ISER Working Paper Series 2020-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    14. Fanzo, Jessica & McLaren, Rebecca & Bellows, Alexandra & Carducci, Bianca, 2023. "Challenges and opportunities for increasing the effectiveness of food reformulation and fortification to improve dietary and nutrition outcomes," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(C).
    15. Abhijit Sharma & Salvatore Falco & Iain Fraser, 2019. "Consumption of salt rich products: impact of the UK reduced salt campaign," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 341-357, December.

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