The impact of the availability and promotion of healthy food in changing young children's food preferences
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Childhood obesity has become a great concern in many countries. The extant literature indicates promotion has an effect on preferences. This paper discusses the results of an experiment undertaken with primary school children to study the effect of availability and point-of-purchase advertising and sampling of healthy food to change children's food preferences. Results indicated that the availability and promotion of the healthy food had a significant effect on changing children's food preferences. While the introduction of a new product into their existing choice set caused significant confusion among children and increased their interest in searching for alternative food, promotion influenced children's food preferences and had a significant impact on their choice behaviour. The implications of these findings for schools, parents, policy makers and advertisers are discussed.