How can you make more people to eat greens? This can be done by giving the vegetables seductive names, say US researchers.
A team at Stanford tried on students in the university cafeteria and found the sales of the veggie went up by 25% as they used indulgent labels.
“Sizzlin’ beans”, “dynamite beets” and “twisted citrus-glazed carrots”, these labels tempted diners to get filling their plates.
Healthy labels like “wholesome”, were a turn-off
This experiment was over the autumn academic term. Each day, vegetable dishes were labeled up in four ways:
basic – that the description was simply “carrots”,
healthy restrictive – “carrots with sugar-free citrus dressing”
Health positive – “smart-choice vitamin C citrus carrots”
indulgent – “twisted citrus-glazed carrots”
The choice of vegetables such as carrot, corn, beetroot, butternut squash, sweet potato courgette and green beans were also rotated to ensure they had enough variety throughout the week.
Each day, the scientists counted the diners numbers selecting the vegetable dish and, at the meal time end, weighed how much food had been taken from the serving bowl.
The indulgent labels also included “twisted garlic-ginger butternut squash wedges” and “dynamite chilli and tangy lime-seasoned beets”.
Seductive names gave a 25% more people eating the vegetable in comparison with basic labeling, 41% more people than the labeling of healthy restrictive and 35% more people than the labeling of healthy positive.
The researchers, Brad Turnwald and colleagues, say the findings, make sense as you consider the psychology behind food choices. People make dining decisions motivated by taste.