Healthier Food Choices Made Easy: a Nudging Experiment in a Restaurant Targeting Millennials

Riccardo Vecchio, Carla Cavallo Cavallo, Teresa Del Giudice, Gerarda Caso, Gianni Cicia


The current food environment exposes individuals to continuous unhealthy signals. The present study investigates the effectiveness of a default option nudge - framed as a Dish of the Day - in guiding healthier food choices of Millennials (aged between 19 and 30 years old), a demographic particularly vulnerable to unhealthy eating. A between-subjects field experiment with two opposite treatments (i.e.: healthy and unhealthy default option) and a control group (no default) was performed on a random, convenience sample (N=341). Results show a limited impact of the healthy default option (3.9%) and suggest that this nudging intervention has a stronger influence on individuals who already prioritize health in their everyday lifestyle. Similarly, the default option is more effective on subjects who do not believe that health and taste are conflicting.


Dish of the Day; casual restaurant; choice architecture; default option; between-subjects design; field experiment

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ISSN 1869-6945


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