Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

HUI Working Papers,
HUI Research

No 70: Can Taste and Nudging Impact Healthy Meal Consumption? - Evidence from a Lunch Restaurant Field Experiment

Linda Thunström () and Jonas Nordström ()
Additional contact information
Linda Thunström: HUI Research, Postal: HUI Research, Regeringsgatan 60, 103 29 Stockholm, Sweden, and University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071, ,
Jonas Nordström: Department of Economics, Postal: Lund University, Box 117, 221 00 Lund, and Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 25, 1958 Fredriksberg C

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: healthy food consumption; taste; nudging; field experiment

JEL-codes: C93; D12; D83; I12

18 pages, October 25, 2012

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