McHealthy: : how marketing incentives influence healthy food choices

Chan, Elisa K. (Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Kwortnik, Robert (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA) ; Wansink, Brian (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA)

Food choices are often habitual, which can perpetuate unhealthy behaviors; i.e., selection of foods high in sodium, saturated fat, and calories. This paper extends previous research by examining how marketing incentives can encourage healthy food choices. Building on research examining marketing incentives, temporal goals, and habitual behavior, this research shows that certain incentives (behavioral rewards vs. financial discounts) affect individuals with healthy and less-healthy eating habits differently. A field study conducted at a corporate cafeteria and three lab studies converge on a consistent finding: the effects of marketing incentives on healthy food choice are particularly prominent for people who have less-healthy eating habits. Results showed that behavioral rewards generated a 28.5% (vs. 5.5%) increase in salad sales; behavioral rewards also led to two pounds more weight loss for individuals with less-healthy eating habits. The research offers important implications for scholars, the food industry, consumers, governments, and policy makers.


Keywords:
Article Type:
scientifique
School:
Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne
Subject(s):
Économie/gestion
Date:
2017
Host Journal:
Cornell Hospitality Quarterly
Numeration (vol. no.):
February 2017, vol. 58, no 1, pp. 6-22
DOI:
ISSN:
1938-9655
Appears in Collection:



 Record created 2017-04-28, last modified 2017-09-09

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