The 'Mere Reminder' Effect of Salient Calorie Labeling

67 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2019

See all articles by Indranil Goswami

Indranil Goswami

University at Buffalo, SUNY - Department of Marketing

Oleg Urminsky

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

Calorie labeling, an increasingly common policy intervention, has had mixed effects on consumer food choices. We show that visual salience of the calorie labels, rather than merely information content or format, is the key to reducing calorie. Our findings indicate that effective labeling, more visually salient than standard industry disclosures, works primarily as a reminder, by prompting people to consider nutrition rather than by providing new information. Both visually salient information and completely non-informative “mere reminders” to consider calories have similar effects on calorie choices, by making people more likely to incorporate their beliefs about nutrition into their decision. As a consequence, when consumers perceive high-calorie items as healthy, calorie labeling working as mere reminders will be less effective and can even backfire, leading to more choices of healthy-seeming high-calorie food options. The findings underscore the need for experimentally testing the psychological consequences of even ostensibly informational interventions.

Suggested Citation

Goswami, Indranil and Urminsky, Oleg, The 'Mere Reminder' Effect of Salient Calorie Labeling (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3448160 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3448160

Indranil Goswami

University at Buffalo, SUNY - Department of Marketing ( email )

Buffalo, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://mgt.buffalo.edu/faculty/academic-departments/marketing/faculty/indranil-goswami.html

Oleg Urminsky (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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