An Explorative Study on Heuristic Effects of Healthy Food Labels in an Online Shopping Situation
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This study focuses on the representativeness heuristic effects of healthy food labels on consumer choice of healthy food. A within-subject experiment was arranged to identify whether consumers rely on representativeness heuristics when making a series of choices of food. Determining whether healthy food labels bias their choice under these limitations was of particular interest. Results (n=30) showed that some participants tend to develop a representativeness heuristic for choice in a series of food choices. For some consumers, healthy food labels do, to some extent, cue them into making biased choices. These results reveal that some consumers do find comparing healthiness of products tedious and rely on representativeness heuristics when making a choice. However, the use of healthy food labels specifically as a cue is very limited when other objective cues such as nutrition information are readily available.