A study by the World Resources Institute has found that simple changes to the language of restaurant menus can help consumers make the change from animal- to plant-based proteins, according to a blog post that explains the research.
The study asked its more than 6,000 U.S. participants to select one dish each from a lunch menu and a dinner menu that listed six meat-based and two plant-based options, using 10 sustainability-focused messages that advertised one or more benefits. These included taste or flavor, health or performance, environmental impact, and overall generosity or altruism.
Among those in the study’s control group who were not exposed to such messages, 12.4% chose one of the vegetarian dishes. Among those in the groups that received the various messaging themes, between 16.9% and 25.4% (more than double the control group) did so.
Overall, the authors concluded, “These study results suggest that nudging consumers via climate messaging in the context where they make diet-related decisions is a promising strategy for encouraging more sustainable dietary choices.”
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