The best approach to curtail unhealthy food consumption is to use a combination of both an unhealthy label and a surcharge for unhealthy menu items, called "unhealthy surcharge," reveals a new research.
Authors from Duke University wrote that obesity rates have more than doubled in the past two decades, and large-scale interventions are necessary to dissuade people from consuming unhealthy food.
The authors found that women avoided food with negative labeling but seemed undaunted by surcharges, while men, on the other hand, avoided surcharges but were unaffected by or even preferred food with negative labeling.
Both men and women, however, avoided food if it had negative labeling and a surcharge.
The researchers noted that according to their study, neither the surcharge nor the unhealthy label reduced customer loyalty and in fact, when an unhealthy label was added, customers gave the restaurant positive marks for caring about its diners.
The authors conclude that they demonstrated that adding an unhealthy label generally increases ratings of how concerned the firm is with the health and well-being of its customers.
The authors added that increasing customer trust may lead to a number of long term gains, such as higher customer loyalty, greater commitment, and more service usage.
The study is published in the Journal of Marketing Research.