Changing order of menu 'can trick consumers into buying healthier options'

Where sugary drinks were positioned on fast-food-outlet menus had a bearing on whether or not they were chosen, a survey found
Jemma Crew (PA)

CHANGING the position of items on the menu of fast food restaurants can "trick" consumers into choosing healthier options, a trial in McDonald's has found.

Customers using touch-screen order kiosks were persuaded to choose less sugary options when researchers changed the order of the list of soft drinks.

The icon for Coke Zero, which contains no sugar, was moved to the first spot on the top left of the touch screens in 622 stores for 12 weeks. Coca-Cola was moved to the lowest screen location.

Researchers from universities in Manchester and the University of Warwick found that sales of Coke Zero increased and sales of Coca-Cola decreased – both by more than 300 per store, the study, published in the Psychology & Marketing journal, found.

C-author Dr Ivo Vlaev said retailers should take note of the "promising results", amid policy interventions such as the sugar tax and rules around fast food outlets by schools.

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