Negative consequences of nutrition information disclosure on consumption behavior in quick-casual restaurants

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Do consumers make nutrition informed and healthier choices in all restaurants where nutrition information is disclosed on the menus? In this study, we investigate whether consumers had better product nutrition knowledge, assigned more importance to healthiness when choosing meals, and chose healthier meals in the stores of a quick-casual restaurant chain that displayed nutrition information on their menus, relative to a control group of stores of the same chain that did not display nutrition information. We find robust evidence for the learning effect: consumers estimated the energy content of meals more accurately in restaurants which displayed nutrition information on menus. However, contrary to prior research findings in the context of fast-food restaurants, we find that consumers overestimated the energy content of meals, and chose healthier meals in quickcasual restaurants which did not display nutrition information on menus. Our findings shed a new light on the previous findings by showing that the effect of menu labeling on the healthiness of meals chosen by consumers depends on their prior nutrition beliefs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

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