A recent study has shown the power of convenience when it comes to healthy eating. Researchers from Rush Medical College jerry-rigged a vending machine with a giant stopwatch that informed customers regular snacks would come with a 25-second delay and healthy snacks would come instantly, testing a hypothesis that consumers may be more inclined to choose things like juice over cola if it came out of the machine faster.
After a few months in busy public spaces in Chicago, the machine’s results showed a 3-5% shift toward healthier food. Despite this modest shift, the researchers were optimistic about the potential laying in the 1.3 million vending machines across the country. Even more opportunities await if we can tap into fast-food restaurants or school cafeterias.
If grocery providers and local markets can harness the power of convenience, they could sway the direction consumers are heading with healthy lifestyles. Consumers have often chosen fast-food restaurants and unhealthy snacks purely for their convenience, so if healthy food manufacturers can bring an element of convenience to their product, they can truly impact consumers’ health choices.