Calorie Posting in Chain Restaurants

Calorie Posting in Chain Restaurants Abstract We study the impact of mandatory calorie posting on consumers' purchase decisions using detailed data from Starbucks. We find that average calories per transaction fall by 6 percent. The effect is almost entirely related to changes in consumers' food choices—there is almost no change in purchases of beverage calories. There is no impact on Starbucks profit on average, and for the subset of stores located close to their competitor Dunkin Donuts, the effect of calorie posting is actually to increase Starbucks revenue. Survey evidence and analysis of commuters suggests the mechanism for the effect is a combination of learning and salience. (JEL D12 , D18 , D83 , L83 ) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Journal: Economic Policy American Economic Association

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by the American Economic Association
Subject
Articles
ISSN
1945-7731
eISSN
1945-774x
DOI
10.1257/pol.3.1.91
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract We study the impact of mandatory calorie posting on consumers' purchase decisions using detailed data from Starbucks. We find that average calories per transaction fall by 6 percent. The effect is almost entirely related to changes in consumers' food choices—there is almost no change in purchases of beverage calories. There is no impact on Starbucks profit on average, and for the subset of stores located close to their competitor Dunkin Donuts, the effect of calorie posting is actually to increase Starbucks revenue. Survey evidence and analysis of commuters suggests the mechanism for the effect is a combination of learning and salience. (JEL D12 , D18 , D83 , L83 )

Journal

American Economic Journal: Economic PolicyAmerican Economic Association

Published: Feb 1, 2011

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