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Making Nutritional Information Digestible: Effects of a Receipt-Based Intervention on Restaurant Purchases

  • Kelly Bedard
  • Peter J. Kuhn

We study the effects of receipts that include personalized ordering suggestions designed to reduce fat and calorie consumption on purchasing behavior at a restaurant chain. We find that customers, in the aggregate, made most of the item substitutions that were encouraged by the messages, such as substituting ham for sausage in a breakfast sandwich, or substituting frozen yogurt for ice cream, though effects on overall calories and fat consumed were small. The results illustrate the potential of emerging information technologies, which allow retailers to tailor product marketing to individual consumers, to contribute in meaningful new ways to the battle against obesity.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19654.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19654.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Health Economics Volume 39, January 2015, Pages 106–122 Cover image Micro-marketing healthier choices: Effects of personalized ordering suggestions on restaurant purchases ☆ Kelly Bedard1, , Peter Kuhn,
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19654
Note: HE LS PE
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  1. Bryan Bollinger & Phillip Leslie & Alan Sorensen, 2011. "Calorie Posting in Chain Restaurants," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 91-128, February.
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  8. Dube, Andrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2010. "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt86w5m90m, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
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  11. Julie S. Downs & George Loewenstein & Jessica Wisdom, 2009. "Strategies for Promoting Healthier Food Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 159-64, May.
  12. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
  13. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," NBER Working Papers 8946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Sara Bleich & David Cutler & Christopher Murray & Alyce Adams, 2007. "Why Is The Developed World Obese?," NBER Working Papers 12954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
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