Slicing apples increases how many students buy them and eat them

Note: analysis based on my Behavioral Orchestration and Analysis framework explained here.


Pre-Sliced Fruit in School Cafeterias, Wansink, Brian et al., American Journal of Preventive Medicine , Volume 44 , Issue 5 , 477 – 480


Test whether slicing apples instead of presenting them whole would increase sales of apples in schools cafetarias and how much of an apple is eaten by each student who buys it.

Changes implemented


  • Ease is increased by slicing apples, nothing more.


From the study:

Data were analyzed in 2012. Schools that used fruit slicers to pre-slice fruit increased average daily apple sales by 71% compared to control schools (p<0.01). The percentage of students who selected apples and ate more than half increased by 73% (p=0.02) at schools that served pre-sliced fruit, and the percentage that wasted half or more decreased by 48% (p=0.03).


Never underestimate ease (or unease) as part of incentive analysis. A variation here, even small, can lead to large effects.

Also interesting is the comment that kids of the age of those who went through the studies often have missing teeth and/or braces, which may increase the difficulty of eating a whole apple. A good reminder of the need to look at the user journey in detail, and not be satisfied with assumptions.

Also at play most probably is a social element: when the first students started to eat more apples, it probably spread quite quickly.