Stimulating Vegan Food Choices With the Affordance Nudge: A One-Size Fits All Solution?
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As a vegan diet has both health and environmental benefits, stimulating vegan food choices could help with both decreasing the prevalence of obesity, and decreasing greenhouse gas emission. We proposed the affordance nudge, in which a character is used to draw attention to the nudged product, as a way to guide people into making more vegan choices in their daily lives. We conducted an online study with two conditions (affordance nudge condition and control condition) in which participants had to choose between a vegan and a non-vegan product (n = 158). We analysed the data by doing a stepwise multiple regression analysis. We expected people in the affordance nudge condition to choose more vegan products than people in the control condition. We also expected the nudge to be more effective when people do not have a clear preference for vegan food, and less effective for people who have a low or high preference for vegan food. Results show that the affordance nudge does significantly increase the number of vegan products chosen, but only for people with a high preference for vegan food. For people with a low preference for vegan food, the affordance nudge appeared to have the opposite effect, where people chose fewer vegan products in the nudge condition compared to the control condition. These findings are promising for the effectiveness of the affordance nudge and for including moderating factors in nudging research, but more research needs to be done before implementing the nudge in a real supermarket environment.