Right pricing of healthier food can impact eating habits

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Price of healthier food
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Higher costs prevent people from buying food even if it is healthier, suggests a recent report indicating that right pricing can be a nudge tactic to have a positive impact on eating habits of a population.

The trial conducted by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) and analysed by the University of Leeds found 78 per cent increase in the number of fruit and vegetable portions sold when prices were reduced during various promotions run across the stores in a four week period in both January 2020 and January 2021.

The trial, based on data taken from 101 Sainsbury’s stores, also found that 37 per cent of people said that it was cost that prevented them from eating a healthier, more sustainable diet. 

The study also found that the increase in sales of fruit and vegetables extended beyond those products on offer. 

The findings show that although promoted fruit and vegetable sales did decline after the promotions ended, the rate of decline reduced year on year, suggesting “some consumers carried their healthier eating habits forward”, as per IGD chief executive Susan Barratt.

“With our diets having such a huge impact on our health and our planet, now is the time for the government, the food and consumer goods industry and shoppers to take collective action.

“The most impactful way to make a difference is to change what we eat and drink.

“This report explores our initial findings, which already shows a positive impact through nudge tactics, pricing and product placement.

“This is a hugely exciting project, demonstrating the genuine opportunity our industry has to make healthy and sustainable diets easier and more accessible for everyone.”