Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

HUI Working Papers,
HUI Research

No 55: 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

Linda Thunström () and Jonas Nordström
Additional contact information
Linda Thunström: HUI Research, Postal: Regeringsgatan 60, 103 29 Stockholm, Sweden and, Department of Economics and Finance , University of Wyoming, Laramie WY 82071, USA,
Jonas Nordström: Lund University,, Postal: Department of Economics, Lund University, Box 7082, SE-220 07 Lund, Sweden, and Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 25, DK-1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Abstract: This paper analyses the effect on meal consumption away from home of a point-of-purchase healthy symbol. We base the analysis on a field experiment in a lunch restaurant. Our results suggest that meal consumption does not increase if the meal is labeled with a healthy symbol. Also, the mean nutritional content of meals consumed seems unaffected by the introduction of a healthy labeled meal on the menu. Even if easily accessible and understood, menu labeling therefore seems inefficient in promoting healthier meal choices. Factors influencing meal consumption are meal ingredients and the order of the meal on the menu.

Keywords: consumer economics; food labelling; experiment; health

JEL-codes: D12; I10

23 pages, February 16, 2012

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