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Product Bundling as a Behavioral Nudge: Investigating Consumer Fruit and Vegetable Selection using Dual-Self Theory

Author

Listed:
  • Carroll, Kathryn A.
  • Samek, Anya Savikhin
  • Zepeda, Lydia

Abstract

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that at least 68% of U.S. adults aged 20 and older are overweight with BMIs of 25+. A major component of this problem is the decision to habitually consume high quantities of low-nutrient, high-calorie foods (NIH, 2012). This study uses an artefactual field experiment on food choice, conducted in a large Midwestern U.S. city during fall 2015, to explore whether product bundles (consisting of primarily fruit & vegetable (F&V) items) can serve as a behavioral intervention to increase F&V selection. Also of interest was determining whether shopping under cognitive load influenced both item and bundle selection using a dual-self framework, and whether bundles need offer a price discount. Study participants shopped a grocery display under one of six different treatments, with differences examined among the proportion of items selected from three categories: Fruit and Vegetables, Junk Food/Snacks, and Protein/Dairy/Grains. The proportions of items selected by category were also analyzed using a fractional multinomial regression model. Results uncover that product bundles need not offer a price discount in order to effectively increase F&V selection. In fact, discounted bundles were counterproductive at increasing F&Vs when shoppers were under high cognitive load. Product bundles may be preferred by consumers as a means through which to lessen the cognitive strain of the shopping process, and could serve as a potential behavioral intervention to increase retail F&V sales.

Suggested Citation

  • Carroll, Kathryn A. & Samek, Anya Savikhin & Zepeda, Lydia, 2016. "Product Bundling as a Behavioral Nudge: Investigating Consumer Fruit and Vegetable Selection using Dual-Self Theory," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236130, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea16:236130
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.236130
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/236130/files/2016AAEAConference-SelectedPaper-P9575-KCarroll-52516.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wansink, Brian, 2017. "Healthy Profits: An Interdisciplinary Retail Framework that Increases the Sales of Healthy Foods," Journal of Retailing, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 65-78.
    2. Hansen, Torben & Thomsen, Thyra Uth, 2018. "The influence of consumers’ interest in healthy eating, definitions of healthy eating, and personal values on perceived dietary quality," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 55-67.

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    Keywords

    Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; Marketing;

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