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Maura Bennett Calories Labels Study May Surprise
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: October 22, 2018

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A new Colorado State University study has found that menu calorie labeling alone may not affect consumer choices.

Providing calorie information on menu boards for chain restaurants with 20 or more locations was a bi-partisan effort that became mandatory in May 2018.

Christopher Berry an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Colorado State says his study found that consumers value food differently.

“Someone who is health value oriented may use the calorie information to find the healthiest option and therefore they may order fewer calories. But a consumer who is going to value taste or value quantity may use the calorie information to make inferences about taste and quantity which could ultimately increase the number of calories they’re ordering and so then across the market these types of consumers are balancing one another out.”

Berry studied hypothetical on-line choices of consumers, some with and some without calorie information, and then measured their food value orientation. His team also studied consumers, some with and some without calorie information, at an actual restaurant.

Policy-makers and public health advocates believed that the change would help consumers make more informed and healthy food choices.

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