Economic and health effects of fruit and vegetable advertising: Evidence from lab experiments
This study investigates consumer response to various types of advertising for fruits and vegetables—a food category which health officials uniformly agree is significantly under-consumed in the United States. Using an adult, non-student subject pool of 271 participants in an economic experiment, consumers’ response to different types of fruit and vegetable advertising is measured empirically. This study finds that broad-based advertising, which is generic advertising for the entire fruit and vegetable category, increases consumer willingness to pay by an average of 24.6%. The simulation model shows that broad-based advertising for fruits and vegetables, either alone or as a hybrid with individual commodity-specific campaigns (e.g., apple advertising), would reduce average caloric intake per person by approximately 1800kcal per year. The results of this study may contribute to new public policy initiatives that aim to reduce diet-related illnesses and obesity, which have become increasingly prevalent in the United States.
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