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The Impact of Price Reductions on Individuals' Choice of Healthy Meals Away from Home

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Abstract

Food high in energy but low in nutritional value is an important contributor to several serious illnesses, and one type of food that is particularly high in energy but low in nutrition is food consumed away from home. In this paper, we examine the demand and willingness to pay for healthy, Keyhole-labelled meals. A Keyhole-labelled meal is particularly low in calories, fat, sugar and salt, but particularly high in fibre. The results suggest that to get the majority of individuals to choose the healthy option regularly it would be necessary to alter the relative price between healthy and less healthy meals. Generally groups of individuals with a poor nutritional intake require a larger compensation (subsidy) before they choose the healthy alternative. About one third of respondents would choose the healthy option regularly if the prices for a healthy and less healthy meal were the same. In particular groups of individuals who already have a relatively good nutritional intake would select the healthy option. Groups with a generally poor nutritional intake (men and individuals with lower education and lower income) would gain health benefits from a subsidy of Keyhole-labelled meals.

Suggested Citation

  • Nordström, Jonas & Thunström, Linda, 2013. "The Impact of Price Reductions on Individuals' Choice of Healthy Meals Away from Home," Working Papers 2013:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2013_021
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    File URL: http://project.nek.lu.se/publications/workpap/papers/WP13_21.pdf
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    1. Lin, Biing-Hwan & Guthrie, Joanne & Frazao, Elizabeth, 2001. "American Children's Diets Not Making the Grade," Food Review: The Magazine of Food Economics, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, vol. 24(2).
    2. Thunström, Linda & Nordström, Jonas, 2011. "Does Easily Accessible Nutritional Labelling Increase Consumption of Healthy Meals away from Home? A Field Experiment Measuring the Impact of a Point-of-Purchase Healthy Symbol on Lunch Sales," Working Papers 2011:35, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    3. Barbara Wagner & Benjamin Senauer & C. Ford Runge, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis of and Policy Recommendations to Improve the Nutritional Quality of School Meals," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 672-688.
    4. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
    5. Julie S. Downs & George Loewenstein & Jessica Wisdom, 2009. "Strategies for Promoting Healthier Food Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 159-164, May.
    6. Rashad, Inas, 2006. "Structural estimation of caloric intake, exercise, smoking, and obesity," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 268-283, May.
    7. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:1:112-117_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2009.174839_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Greene,William H. & Hensher,David A., 2010. "Modeling Ordered Choices," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521194204, March.
    10. Lin, Biing-Hwan & Frazao, Elizabeth & Guthrie, Joanne F., 1999. "Away-From-Home Foods Increasingly Important to Quality of American Diet," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33733, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    subsidy; food demand; food away from home; healthy; restaurant;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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