My advice to you, retailer, is that if your adult customers choose to take the unhealthy route, ease the guilt for them. Feel no need to go beyond fully informing them and obeying the law. When Giant Foods, reportedly inspired by President John. F. Kennedy’s “Consumer Bill of Rights,” formulated their own list of rights decades ago, it included “Right to choose. Consumers who want to purchase possibly harmful or hazardous products (such as food with additives) can do so.”
The research basis for my advice is the evidence that inducing guilt can actually make it more likely that people will select unhealthy alternatives.
- A research team from City University of New York, Loyola College, and Duke University found that when a healthy salad was added to a list of side dish choices, diners separately identified as high in self-control actually became more likely to order the French fries.
- Researchers from New York University and University of Pennsylvania found that when people put a healthy food item into their grocery shopping cart, they become much more likely to select an unhealthy food item next.
But when it comes to adults, the customer likes to be in control, so there are better health motivators than retailer-induced guilt.
Click below for more:
Balance Healthy and Indulgent in Merchandise
Have Fun Items Throughout the Store
Inform Consumers, But Don’t Intrude