Nudging towards a healthier lifestyle: a study on how to use nudging as an intervention to steer consumers towards the healthier choices
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- Master of Science 
Obesity has become a major issue worldwide and has a strong impact at various economic and social levels. This calls for the need to find efficient ways to tackle this growing problem. Recently, there has been a increasing interest in the use of “nudges” as a policy tool and their potential to solve some of society’s biggest problems, such as obesity. By using nudges, it is possible to steer consumers in a certain direction by changing the choice architecture or environment around. This allows for encouraging healthier choices without limiting individuals’ freedom of choice. While nudges have promising applications, research literature has not given them sufficient attention. Our aim for the master thesis is to explore how health nudge interventions should be designed in order to change customer buying behavior towards healthier options while grocery shopping. In order to develop an effective nudge, we explore which system of cognitive processing should be targeted, and how a nudge should be framed at the front-of-pack label on fast moving consumer goods. Lastly, a framework by Felsen (2013) has been adopted to test whether the framing of a nudge should be through punishment or reward for making the healthier food choice. The research is based on a thoroughly designed online questionnaire with an integrated choice experiment, where our hypotheses were tested in two different product categories; soda and bar. While the findings are inconclusive, they indicate that our health logo is significantly effective in changing respondents’ behaviors towards the healthier option in both product categories. The effect was strongest for bars, which suggests that the product category has a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of the nudge intervention. Implications from this study include that the health logo has a positive effect in changing respondents’ buying behavior and that it should be framed as a reward for choosing the healthy option. Moreover, a “one solution for everyone” approach will most likely be less effective, and should be adjusted when implementing different nudge interventions. Behavioral research has shown that the way the environment is constructed can shape a person's choices within it. Thus, it is hoped that by using insights from such research, people can be nudged towards making decisions which are better for their health.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2018