Marketing Vegetables: Leveraging Branded Media to Increase Vegetable Uptake in Elementary Schools
23 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 10, 2015
Objectives: Children do not eat enough servings of vegetables underscoring the need for effective interventions encouraging this behavior. The purpose of this research is to measure the impact that daily exposure to branded vegetable characters has on vegetable selection among boys and girls in elementary schools.
Methods: In a large urban school district 10 elementary schools agreed to participate in the study and were randomly assigned to one of four treatment conditions: 1) no changes to the cafeteria; 2) vinyl banner displaying vegetable characters which was fastened around the base of the salad bar; 3) short television segments with health education delivered by vegetable characters; 4) combination of vinyl banner and television segments. We collected 22,206 student-day observations over a six week period by tallying the number of boys and girls taking vegetables from the school’s salad bar.
Results: Results show that 90.5% (from 12.6% to 24.0%; p=0.04) more students took vegetables from the salad bar when exposed to the vinyl banner only, while 239.2% (from 10.2% to 34.6%; p<0.001) more students visited the salad bar when exposed to both the television segments and vinyl banners. Both boys and girls responded positively to the vinyl banners (p<0.05 in both cases).
Conclusions: Evidence from this study highlights the positive impact of branded media on children’s food selection. These solutions for both marketers and children can be powerful tools in encouraging healthier choices for children.
Keywords: Advertising, diet, food preferences, lunch, nutrition, gender
JEL Classification: I12, I18, J13, M31, M32, Q1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation