The racks leading up to the checkout line are prime real estate for impulse buys. Merchandise near the register moves, whether it’s a magazine, a pack of gum or another bottle of hand sanitizer. Now a new study suggests that the same strategy can get kids to make healthy choices in the school cafeteria.
Obesity is a growing problem, particularly for children. Nutritionists have tried everything to help kids cut calories, from banning sodas at school to rolling out ad campaigns that make baby carrots cool. But Brian Wansink’s team at Cornell University is finding that the secret may lie in the presentation.
In one set of schools studied, fruits moved twice as fast when they were placed in a colorful bowl. Salad sales tripled when the salad bar was moved to in front of the register. And stacking the chocolate milk behind the white milk led more students to reach for the straight up moo juice. The findings were presented at the School Nutrition Association conference in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Even just asking kids if they wanted a salad boosted leafy green sales by 30 percent. Bottom line: if junk food can be cleverly marketed, so can the good stuff.
[The above text is an exact transcript of this podcast.]