Marketers love to end their prices with the magical numerical combination of 99. This practice, which is also known as charm pricing, psychological pricing or odd pricing, is seen in virtually every country across the globe. There’s no question about it: it works. But new research shows that the pricing trick will backfire under specific circumstances.
When ordering food online, the number of unhealthy food cues seems endless. Not only the food itself but also food-related words and pictorial representations stimulate unhealthy dietary behaviors. And that while eating-behavior-related disorders are only increasing in the western world. Therefore, governments started public health campaigns and educational programmes to promote healthier food choices. Nevertheless, with little success.
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in using behavioral economics principles to "nudge" individuals towards making healthier and more sustainable choices. One area where these nudges may be particularly effective is in reducing food waste and increasing vegetable intake.
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Maybe it’s just me, but the food labels communicating the amount of calories on the back of food packages don't always speak to me. Don’t get me wrong, when I see a label stating “840 kcal” on the back of my nicely smelling pizza, it does hurt a bit. But, anything less than those extremes is hard to grasp for me, and the lazy person I am, I tend to skip this information instead of going online to find out what it exactly means.
The purpose of food packaging has evolved a lot from what it used to be. At first, packaging was mainly used as a means to preserve and transport food items. Later, it was used as a way to gain consumers’ attention in shops and influence their preferences. More recently, a growing interest has been placed on how packaging can contribute to the multisensory experience of consumption.
But how come that something like packaging, which does not objectively alter the actual taste of food, can have so much impact? Let’s delve into how visual elements on food packaging can change taste expectations!