And if to change our eating habits and encourage us to eat healthier, it was enough to change the place of the fruits and vegetables? This is what an amazing British study advocates after conducting the experiment in a grocery store on the campus of the University of Warwick.
Eat less processed foods, too sweet, too salty and often over-packaged to favor fresh fruits and vegetables, to cook yourself: if you pay attention to your health and be sensitive to environmental arguments, here is surely a promise that you have already made yourself.
But it is unfortunately not always easy to hold: between lack of time and tempting promotions on products not always very healthy, temptations are not lacking to make us forget our oath. One thing, though, might be to buy more fruits and vegetables - and you do not even realize that their shelves are changing places in your supermarket.
A 15% increase in sales
This finding was made by researchers at Warwick Medical School and the University of Warwick. Their study, very serious, says that shifting the rays of fruits and vegetables in a store can increase sales and thus encourage consumers to eat healthier.
It was published by the journal BMC Public Health and is based on an experience in a real Warwick store, the Rootes grocery store located on campus, where the location of the fruit and vegetable aisles was brought closer to the entrance. This decision was made without the purpose of conducting a research experiment or deliberately encouraging a healthier diet, say the researchers, who began their investigation when they became aware of the changes made in the store. Led by Dr. Oyinlola Oyebode of the Warwick School of Medicine, they investigated whether this change in location had any effect on the purchase of fruits and vegetables.
Between January 2012 and July 2017, the team of researchers scrupulously collected the data from the store counters to examine sales before and after the change of location. They found that, on average, customers purchased 15% more fruit and vegetables since the shelves were at the entrance of the grocery store.
An unconscious boost to eat healthier
Another finding made by the researchers: it seems that this increased consumption has been perpetuated, even though the location of the rays of fruits and vegetables was maintained at the entrance to the store.
For researchers, these data clearly show that changing the place of fruits and vegetables and highlighting them at the store entrance is a viable way to help people eat healthier. This is especially the case in young adults who are more likely to snack on sweets and swallow prepared foods than to eat fresh vegetables.
There is no need, therefore, for marketing messages or advertising campaigns with an explicit message to encourage young people to eat their five fruits and vegetables a day, says Dr. Oyebode: it is by gently shifting them to healthier rays than we can encourage them to eat healthier.
"We examined whether a change in the layout of a campus supermarket had changed students' purchases and we found that this was the case: Making fruits and vegetables more accessible increases the amount of fruits and vegetables purchased", said Dr. Oyebode. "This" push "intervention in a young adult population is particularly appropriate because it does not restrict choice and requires no conscious action on the part of the young adult."