Magda Osman* and Sophie Aviva Gothold
Department of Biological and Chemical Science, Queen Mary University of London, UKFulltext PDF
Objective: The aim of the present study was to examine the potential bias of front-of-pack promotions on consumer choice behaviour and judgments.
Design: Using a between-subjects design, participants were randomly allocated to one of four conditions: (i) Baseline, (ii) Premium offers, (iii) Celebrity Endorsement, (iv) Nutritional Content Claims. In the three experimental conditions the promoted product was always the objectively unhealthy item compared to the non-promoted alternative (Baseline). In all conditions participants were asked to choose between two items (endorsed vs. non-endorsed), choose if they wanted to see the objective nutritional information of each, estimate the healthiness of the product they choose, as well as the amount they would be willing to pay for it. Setting: Participants were recruited via an online crown sourcing social science platform Prolific Academic. Subjects: Participants were UK nationals living in the UK, with English as their first language, aged between 18-74 years (n 481; 60% female).
Results: Compared to the other three conditions, Celebrity endorsement of unhealthy options were selected more often, for which participants were more likely to erroneously judge their choices as healthier than the baseline, and willing to pay more for them, and for Nutritional Content Claims promotions.
Conclusion: The present study supports and extends current work by demonstrating that, independent of viewing objective nutritional content, front-of-pack promotions not only strongly influences choice behavior, but also biases judgments of the healthiness of products and how much would be paid for them.
Front-of-pack promotions; Biased consumer judgment; Willingness to pay
Osman M, Gothold SA. Consumer Judgment of Food Labels: How Front of Pack Promotions Influences Choice Behaviour, Views of Nutritional Content, Judgments of Healthiness, and Willingness to Pay Estimates. Ann Nutr Food Sci. 2019; 3(1): 1039.