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Can Taste and Nudging Impact Healthy Meal Consumption? - Evidence from a Lunch Restaurant Field Experiment




Previous research shows that taste is one of the most important factors in determining food choices, and that food choices may be affected by ”nudging”. We analyze how taste, as determined by meal attributes, and nudging affects consumption of a healthy labeled meal. Our analysis is based on a field experiment in a lunch restaurant and our results imply that sales of the healthy labelled meal, and its market share, is greatly impacted by its taste. Nudging, as in order of display on the menu, does not impact sales of the healthy labelled meal in our experiment. We conclude that supplying tasty healthy meals may be key to significantly impact healthy eating, superior to other policy measures aimed at encouraging healthier food choices, such as information, nudging and food tax reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Thunström, Linda & Nordström, Jonas, 2012. "Can Taste and Nudging Impact Healthy Meal Consumption? - Evidence from a Lunch Restaurant Field Experiment," HUI Working Papers 70, HUI Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:huiwps:0070

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Putnam, Judy & Allshouse, Jane & Kantor, Linda Scott, 2002. "U.S. Per Capita Food Supply Trends: More Calories, Refined Carbohydrates, and Fats," Food Review: The Magazine of Food Economics, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, vol. 25(3).
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    5. Shi, Hongqi & Price, David W., 1998. "Impacts Of Sociodemographic Variables On The Implicit Values Of Breakfast Cereal Characteristics," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 23(01), July.
    6. Benson, Earl D & Hansen, Julia L. & Schwartz Jr., Arthur & Smersh, Greg T., 1998. "Pricing Residential Amenities: The Value of a View," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 55-73, January.
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    8. Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard, 2005. "Demand Estimation with Heterogeneous Consumers and Unobserved Product Characteristics: A Hedonic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1239-1276, December.
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    More about this item


    healthy food consumption; taste; nudging; field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior


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