Citizens eat differently than politicians and health economists wish them to. Instead of eating generally healthy (ex: CO2 conform, seasonal or regional etc.), citizens are blamed for having the wrong eating patterns. But how can one change the consumers’ behavior? How can the consumption of an affluent society be lead in the “right” direction? How can they be nudged to eat in a more eco-friendly way and adopt product innovations for well-balanced, age relevant nutrition? The key word is “nudging” – subtly directing them to better behavior. But at what point does a nudge turn into an act of paternalism?
Consumers appreciate having freedom of choice in their daily meals; they do not want to be patronized. What is their opinion of nudging? Do they actually perceive it as paternalism? When do they feel patronized and who may restrict them? What is the right way and with what rules? Nudging, norms, regulations or laws? And who is perceived as patronizing? Is it the government, the media or the NGOs?
A study conducted by Prof. Peter Kenning from the Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf, "That’s for eats! - Orientation versus Paternalism", provides insights here.
Experiences from the USA will be presented as well as EU studies on the topic of nudging and its effects. We will provide insights into product development and the communicative restraints that come along with innovation. We will also discuss German constitutional law and economic consequences concerning nudging.
See the DIE LEBENSMITTELWIRTSCHAFT website.