Nudged to a Menu Position: The Role of “I’m Loving It”!
The position of food items on supermarket shelves or dishes on restaurant menus seems to influence consumers’ choices. However, it is still unclear which position is the most favourable, respectively which factor can explain the variety of different position effects observed (e.g., centre-stage effect). We assume that this factor is based on whether or not “your love” (or your preference) for the cuisine of the restaurant (e.g., Italian) where you have dinner plays a role regarding your dish choice or not. Hence, in a computer-based study, participants had to choose dishes, appetizers, entrées and desserts from menus whose cuisine they most (e.g., Italian) or least preferred (e.g., Japanese). We found that regarding the meal type entrées, preference indeed played a role. Regarding menus from their most preferred cuisine, participants chose significantly more often entrées positioned in the centre of the menu. No such effect could be found regarding menus from their least preferred cuisine. Regarding the meal type appetizer, preference did not seem to play a role; hence, participants did, regarding both preferences, choose more appetizers positioned at the top of the menu. Regarding desserts, no effects could be found. A developed theoretical framework tries to illustrate how preference comes into play, by changing the way the dishes within a meal type are perceived, and hence modulates the different position effects observed. The framework should provide choice architects with guidelines about where they could place healthier dishes on a menu to fight the current overweight and obesity crisis.
KeywordsPosition effects Preference Cuisine Choice Menu
We would like to thank Daniel Furter, Susan Keller and Michelle Petrig for helping to design the menus as well as for helping run the experiments.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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