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How Category Average Reference Points Affect Choice of Sugary Foods

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Document pages: 43 pages

Abstract: Improving diet quality is as important as it is difficult. Market-level information such as summary information in the form of an average (i.e., category average reference point [CARP]) discloses information otherwise difficult to obtain by comparing different products. The results of a choice-based conjoint experiment (N=698) show that CARP affects food choice in multicue environments and interacts with source credibility in driving consumer acceptance of sugar content. In particular, the likelihood of choosing high amounts of sugar increases when a high CARP is provided by a credible source because of increased consumer acceptance of higher levels of that nutrient. Implications of the findings for research and public policy conclude the article.

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