An Evaluation on the Effectiveness of Health Nudges in an Online Grocery Store Setting to Change Demand for Various Foods

Gingerich, Mitchell
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University of Guelph

Health Canada has proposed mandatory Front-of-Package nutrition warning labels to deter purchases of foods ‘high in’ sugar, sodium, and/or saturated fat. This research examines the impact of two different sized warning labels and product ordering by health level in an online grocery store setting. 1050 participants completed an online experiment involving discrete choice sets and survey questions. Larger, more prominent warning labels were more effective in deterring “high in” item purchases than the label requirements proposed by Health Canada. Product ordering was an effective tool in specific scenarios although, the health ordering had no consistent impact. Warning labels were not statistically significant in reducing the likelihood of purchasing a “high in” item. There is a noticeable difference in the effectiveness of the treatments dependent on the product category and possibly the perceived healthfulness of the products.

nutrition warning labels, Front-of-Package, ‘high in’, Sugar, Sodium, Saturated fat