Healthy to the Left (04-18-17)

Romero and Biswas learned that to encourage consumption, healthier options should be placed to the left of unhealthier ones.  Their work determined that “displaying healthy items to the left (vs. right) of unhealthy items enhances preference for the healthy options. In addition, consumption volume of a healthy item (vis-à-vis an unhealthy item) is higher when it is placed to the left (vs. right) of the unhealthy item. We propose that a ‘healthy-left, unhealthy-right’ (vs. healthy-right, unhealthy- left) lateral display pattern is congruent with consumers’ mental organization of food items varying in healthfulness, which enhances ease of processing and in turn enhances self-control, thereby leading to a relatively higher likelihood of choosing healthy options. . . . The findings of our research have important implications for designing retail food displays and restaurant menus.”

Marisabel Romero and Dipayan Biswas.  2016.  “Healthy-Left Unhealthy-Right:  Can Displaying Healthy Items to the Left (Versus Right) of Unhealthy Items Nudge Healthier Choices?”  Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 103-112.