Nudging Pupils to Eat Healthily
Compass Group education catering subsidiary Chartwells is rolling out a new menu at 450 secondary schools in the United Kingdom after successfully piloting ‘'nudging’ techniques developed by behaviour therapists.
The 'Nudge, Nudge' pilot involved rewriting and redesigning school menus to feature nutritionists' picks, with positive adjectives used to describe texture, taste and smell. The campaign was also supported by a healthy eating campaign in classrooms, point-of-sale and poster promotions, and a loyalty card.
A 'Follow Your Heart' nudge created by highlighting the healthiest menu options with red heart stickers achieved the best results, increasing purchases by 8 per cent in comparison with a control group.
Commenting on the scheme, Richard Taylor, Chartwells managing director, said:
"Encouraging healthier eating is core to our activity as we know that often school meals may be a child’s main meal of the day. The results of the trial have provided us with so much insight into what more we can do to encourage healthy eating. Findings from this compelling pilot have been used to create new menus across our secondary schools and I am looking forward to seeing the positive impact these measures will make as we seek to improve nutritional awareness in schools.
"Healthy eating can improve productivity and increase energy and alertness. We believe that by working together and continuing to educate students about choosing more nutritious meals, schools as well as their pupils, will reap the benefits."