Resource Type: Behavior Tendencies: Related Tools: , Domains: , ,

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

Source

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

Goal(s)

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

Incentives

  • Ease is increased by slicing apples, nothing more.

Results

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).

Comments

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.

2016-05-20T17:35:03+00:00

About the Author:

Julien Le Nestour
Applied behavioral scientist & international consultant — I am using the results and latest advances from the behavioral sciences—specifically behavioral economics—to help companies solve strategic issues. I am working with both start-ups and Fortune 500 groups, and across industries, though I have specific domain knowledge in banking, asset management, B2B and consumer IT, SAAS and e-commerce industries.

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