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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

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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 labelled with a healthy symbol. Also, the mean nutritional content of meals consumed seems unaffected by the introduction of a healthy-labelled meal on the menu. Even if easily accessible and understood, menu labelling therefore seems inefficient in promoting healthier meal choices. Factors influencing meal consumption are meal ingredients and the order of the meal on the menu.
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Keywords: Consumer economics; experiment; food labelling; health

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: HUI Research AB, Stockholm, Sweden 2: Department of Economics,Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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