Menu engineering to encourage sustainable food choices when dining out: An online trial of priced-based decoys

Menu-based ‘nudges’ hold promise as effective ways to encourage a shift away from ruminant meat and towards more environmentally friendly plant-based food when dining out. One example of a menu-based nudge is including an inferior ‘decoy’ option to existing items on menus. Decoys have been shown to influence decision-making in other domains (e.g. Lichters, Bengart, Sarstedt, & Vogt, 2017), but have yet to be used to promote sustainable food choices. Two online randomized controlled trials tested whether the addition of higher priced ‘decoy’ vegetarian options on menus influenced the number of diners choosing a ‘target’ vegetarian option. Adjusted Generalized Estimating Equations on data from four menu conditions showed no main effect of the intervention in study 1 (decoy absent vs. decoy present; Odds Ratio (OR) 1.08 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.45 to 2.57). Replicating the trial in study 2 …

S Attwood, SJ Chesworth, BL Parkin – Appetite, 2020
Publication date
Academic Press
Total citations
Cited by 28

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