The effect of a default-based nudge on the choice of whole wheat bread

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Consumer choices are often influenced by the default option presented. This study examines the effect of whole wheat bread as a default option in a sandwich choice situation. Whole wheat bread consists of 100% whole grain and is healthier than other bread types that are commonly consumed, such as brown or white bread. A pilot survey (N = 291) examined the strength of combinations of toppings and bread type as carrier to select stimuli for the main study. In the main experimental study consisting of a two (bread type) by two (topping type) between-subjects design, participants (N = 226) were given a free sandwich at a university stand with either a relatively unhealthy deep-fried snack (croquette) or a healthy topping. About half of the participants were offered a whole wheat bun unless they asked for white bun, and the other half were offered a white bun unless they asked for a whole wheat bun. Regardless of the topping, the results show that when the whole wheat bun was the default option, 108 out of 115 participants (94%) decided to stick with this default option. When the default of bread offered was white, 89 out of 111 participants (80%) similarly chose to stick with this default. Across conditions, participants felt equally free to make a choice. The attractiveness of and willingness to pay for the sandwich were not affected by default type of bread. This study demonstrated a strong default effect of bread type. This clearly shows the benefit of steering consumers towards a healthier bread choice, by offering healthier default bread at various locations such as restaurants, schools and work place canteens.
LanguageEnglish
Pages179-185
JournalAppetite
Volume121
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Fingerprint

Bread
Triticum
Restaurants
Snacks
Workplace

Keywords

  • Behavioural economics
  • Default effect
  • Food choice behaviour
  • Intervention
  • Nudging
  • Whole wheat bread

Cite this

@article{c5c30a32898e480a8a441065de24e54d,
title = "The effect of a default-based nudge on the choice of whole wheat bread",
abstract = "Consumer choices are often influenced by the default option presented. This study examines the effect of whole wheat bread as a default option in a sandwich choice situation. Whole wheat bread consists of 100{\%} whole grain and is healthier than other bread types that are commonly consumed, such as brown or white bread. A pilot survey (N = 291) examined the strength of combinations of toppings and bread type as carrier to select stimuli for the main study. In the main experimental study consisting of a two (bread type) by two (topping type) between-subjects design, participants (N = 226) were given a free sandwich at a university stand with either a relatively unhealthy deep-fried snack (croquette) or a healthy topping. About half of the participants were offered a whole wheat bun unless they asked for white bun, and the other half were offered a white bun unless they asked for a whole wheat bun. Regardless of the topping, the results show that when the whole wheat bun was the default option, 108 out of 115 participants (94{\%}) decided to stick with this default option. When the default of bread offered was white, 89 out of 111 participants (80{\%}) similarly chose to stick with this default. Across conditions, participants felt equally free to make a choice. The attractiveness of and willingness to pay for the sandwich were not affected by default type of bread. This study demonstrated a strong default effect of bread type. This clearly shows the benefit of steering consumers towards a healthier bread choice, by offering healthier default bread at various locations such as restaurants, schools and work place canteens.",
keywords = "Behavioural economics, Default effect, Food choice behaviour, Intervention, Nudging, Whole wheat bread",
author = "{van Kleef}, Ellen and Karen Seijdell and Vingerhoeds, {Monique H.} and {de Wijk}, {Ren{\'e} A.} and {van Trijp}, {Hans C.M.}",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.appet.2017.11.091",
language = "English",
volume = "121",
pages = "179--185",
journal = "Appetite",
issn = "0195-6663",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

The effect of a default-based nudge on the choice of whole wheat bread. / van Kleef, Ellen; Seijdell, Karen; Vingerhoeds, Monique H.; de Wijk, René A.; van Trijp, Hans C.M.

In: Appetite, Vol. 121, 01.02.2018, p. 179-185.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The effect of a default-based nudge on the choice of whole wheat bread

AU - van Kleef, Ellen

AU - Seijdell, Karen

AU - Vingerhoeds, Monique H.

AU - de Wijk, René A.

AU - van Trijp, Hans C.M.

PY - 2018/2/1

Y1 - 2018/2/1

N2 - Consumer choices are often influenced by the default option presented. This study examines the effect of whole wheat bread as a default option in a sandwich choice situation. Whole wheat bread consists of 100% whole grain and is healthier than other bread types that are commonly consumed, such as brown or white bread. A pilot survey (N = 291) examined the strength of combinations of toppings and bread type as carrier to select stimuli for the main study. In the main experimental study consisting of a two (bread type) by two (topping type) between-subjects design, participants (N = 226) were given a free sandwich at a university stand with either a relatively unhealthy deep-fried snack (croquette) or a healthy topping. About half of the participants were offered a whole wheat bun unless they asked for white bun, and the other half were offered a white bun unless they asked for a whole wheat bun. Regardless of the topping, the results show that when the whole wheat bun was the default option, 108 out of 115 participants (94%) decided to stick with this default option. When the default of bread offered was white, 89 out of 111 participants (80%) similarly chose to stick with this default. Across conditions, participants felt equally free to make a choice. The attractiveness of and willingness to pay for the sandwich were not affected by default type of bread. This study demonstrated a strong default effect of bread type. This clearly shows the benefit of steering consumers towards a healthier bread choice, by offering healthier default bread at various locations such as restaurants, schools and work place canteens.

AB - Consumer choices are often influenced by the default option presented. This study examines the effect of whole wheat bread as a default option in a sandwich choice situation. Whole wheat bread consists of 100% whole grain and is healthier than other bread types that are commonly consumed, such as brown or white bread. A pilot survey (N = 291) examined the strength of combinations of toppings and bread type as carrier to select stimuli for the main study. In the main experimental study consisting of a two (bread type) by two (topping type) between-subjects design, participants (N = 226) were given a free sandwich at a university stand with either a relatively unhealthy deep-fried snack (croquette) or a healthy topping. About half of the participants were offered a whole wheat bun unless they asked for white bun, and the other half were offered a white bun unless they asked for a whole wheat bun. Regardless of the topping, the results show that when the whole wheat bun was the default option, 108 out of 115 participants (94%) decided to stick with this default option. When the default of bread offered was white, 89 out of 111 participants (80%) similarly chose to stick with this default. Across conditions, participants felt equally free to make a choice. The attractiveness of and willingness to pay for the sandwich were not affected by default type of bread. This study demonstrated a strong default effect of bread type. This clearly shows the benefit of steering consumers towards a healthier bread choice, by offering healthier default bread at various locations such as restaurants, schools and work place canteens.

KW - Behavioural economics

KW - Default effect

KW - Food choice behaviour

KW - Intervention

KW - Nudging

KW - Whole wheat bread

U2 - 10.1016/j.appet.2017.11.091

DO - 10.1016/j.appet.2017.11.091

M3 - Article

VL - 121

SP - 179

EP - 185

JO - Appetite

T2 - Appetite

JF - Appetite

SN - 0195-6663

ER -