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Effects of the Guiding Stars Program on purchases of ready-to-eat cereals with different nutritional attributes


  • Rahkovsky, Ilya
  • Lin, Biing-Hwan
  • Lin, Chung-Tung Jordan
  • Lee, Jonq-Ying


Over the past decade, the food industry has increased its use of front-of-package and shelf-tag nutrition labeling designed to present key nutritional aspects and characteristics of food products. One such system is the Guiding Stars Program™ (GSP), which uses an algorithm to score the nutritional values of food products from one to three stars, where more stars mean more nutritious. We studied how the introduction of the GSP in one supermarket chain affected the demand for ready-to-eat cereals. We estimated the demand for cereals and measured the effect using a treatment–control approach. We found that the GSP significantly increased the demand for cereals that GSP considers more nutritious at the expense of cereals that GSP considers less nutritious.

Suggested Citation

  • Rahkovsky, Ilya & Lin, Biing-Hwan & Lin, Chung-Tung Jordan & Lee, Jonq-Ying, 2013. "Effects of the Guiding Stars Program on purchases of ready-to-eat cereals with different nutritional attributes," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 100-107.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:43:y:2013:i:c:p:100-107
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2013.08.013

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jordan Lin, Chung-Tung & Lee, Jonq-Ying & Yen, Steven T., 2004. "Do dietary intakes affect search for nutrient information on food labels?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(9), pages 1955-1967, November.
    2. Mancino, Lisa & Kuchler, Fred & Leibtag, Ephraim, 2008. "Getting consumers to eat more whole-grains: The role of policy, information, and food manufacturers," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 489-496, December.
    3. S. Ichimura, 1950. "A Critical Note on the Definition of Related Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 179-183.
    4. Matthew Shum, 2004. "Does Advertising Overcome Brand Loyalty? Evidence from the Breakfast-Cereals Market," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 241-272, June.
    5. George Zinkhan & Cara Peters & Candice Hollenbeck, 2008. "Do empirical studies address the objectives of the nutrition labeling and education act: a review and synthesis relevant for marketing academicians," International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing, Springer;International Association of Public and Non-Profit Marketing, vol. 5(2), pages 89-116, December.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1757 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:73:y:2017:i:c:p:119-130 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Melo, Grace, 2017. "The Impact of NuVal Shelf Nutrition Labels on Consumption: Evidence from Cold Cereal Purchases," 2017 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2017, Mobile, Alabama 252421, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    3. Melo, Grace & Zhen, Chen, 2017. "The Impact of NuVal Shelf Nutrition Labels on Consumption: Evidence from Cold Cereal Purchases," 2017 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2017, Mobile, Alabama 252442, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Li, Wenying & Zhen, Chen & Finkelstein, Eric, 2017. "Identifying the Effect of Shelf Nutrition Labels on Yogurt Sales Using a Natural Experiment," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258111, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Lin, Biing-Hwan & Dong, Diansheng & Carlson, Andrea & Rahkovsky, Ilya, 2017. "Potential dietary outcomes of changing relative prices of healthy and less healthy foods: The case of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 77-88.


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