Can emoticons or colours on labels influence our snack choice?

Chocolate smiling face on white backgroundIn an online experiment, neither an emoticon label (smiling or frowning face) nor a label colour (red, green or white) influenced people’s choice between a chocolate or a cereal bar.

However, frowning faces on cereal bars did lead people to rate these as less tasty and less healthy. These results highlight the need for more research on the impact of emoticons on labelling.

Making food labels social: The impact of colour of nutritional labels and injunctive norms on perceptions and choice of snack foods. Vasiljevic, Pechey & Marteau. 2015.

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