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EMAC 2023 Annual

It Is So Much Easy to Be A Healthy Eater: An Application of Option Framing Strategy to Food Customization

Published: May 24, 2023


Mengmeng Niu, University of Mannheim; Hong Nhung Ta, University of Mannheim; Florian Kraus, University of Mannheim


This research examines how food customization strategy (adding vs. removing ingredients) interacts with food categorization (healthy vs. unhealthy food). Across two studies, we demonstrate that consumers evaluate adding ingredients to a base model of healthy food is easier than removing ingredients from a fully loaded model of the same food. This pattern is reversed for unhealthy food. Specifically, adding ingredients to a base model of unhealthy food is perceived to be difficulty than removing ingredients from a fully loaded unhealthy food. Additionally, we found out that people evaluated adding ingredients as more compatible with an unhealthy food while removing ingredients as more compatible with a healthy food. Moreover, this difference in compatibility between the food category and the option framing strategy mediates the interaction effect. Keywords: Food customization, Perceived task difficulty, Compatibility effect Track: Consumer Behavior