Copyright © 2015 INFORMS. We introduce a simple solution to help consumers manage choices between healthy and unhealthy food options: vice-virtue bundles. Vice-virtue bundles are item aggregates with varying proportions of both vice and virtue, holding overall quantity constant. Four studies compare choice and perceptions of differently composed vice-virtue bundles relative to one another and to pure vice and pure virtue options. Although multiple consumer segments can be identified, results suggest that people overall tend to prefer vice-virtue bundles with small (1/4) to medium (1/2) proportions of vice rather than large (3/4) proportions of vice. Moreover, people generally rate vice-virtue bundles with small vice proportions as healthier but similarly tasty as bundles with larger vice proportions. For most individuals, choice patterns are different from those predicted by varietyseeking accounts alone. Instead, these findings provide evidence of asymmetric effectiveness of small vice and virtue proportions at addressing taste and health goals, respectively.
Liu, PJ; Haws, KL; Lamberton, C; Campbell, TH; Fitzsimons, GJ
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