The effect of health prompts on product consideration, attention to information, and choice in large, online product assortments: The case of fiber

Kristina Arslain, Christopher R. Gustafson, Devin J Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Health-focused point-of-decision prompts (PDPs) influence consumers to purchase healthier food products, but how PDPs work has not been established. We examined how a PDP focused on fiber consumption, an under-consumed nutrient, influences consumers to select healthier products. US-based participants (n = 753), randomly assigned to a PDP or control condition, completed a simulated online shopping experience that included features of real-world retail settings, such as the ability to examine subsets of products and to choose to access nutrition information. In each condition, participants made choices in cereal, bread, and cracker categories. Participants could choose to view all or subsets of products before making a selection and reported the nutrient information they examined. We used mediation analysis to examine direct and indirect pathways through which the PDP affected the fiber content and healthiness rating of choices. Indirect pathways were whether the set of products the participant considered included healthy options (HCS) and attention to fiber information (AFI) when making choices. The PDP increased fiber content and Guiding Stars (GS) ratings of product choices by a total of 0.53 g dietary fiber/serving and 0.25 GS, respectively. This increase resulted from direct and indirect influences from the PDP. The direct effect increased fiber (GS) by 0.19 g dietary fiber/serving (0.072 GS). The indirect influence of the PDP through HCS increased 0.21 g dietary fiber/serving (0.104 GS) and through AFI increased 0.13 g dietary fiber/serving (0.035 GS). The PDP engendered healthier purchases by influencing consumer behavior at multiple points in the decision-making process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104329
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume94
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Consideration sets
  • Fiber
  • Food choice
  • Nutrition information
  • Point-of-decision prompt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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