Who's for a 'power pea' or an 'Xray vision carrot'?...

A new study from Cornell University has shown that giving vegetables cool, catchy names can increase the number of children who will eat them by up to 50% – a possibly valuable tool in trying to broaden the diet of children with food problems.
‘Cool names can make for cool foods,’ says Brian Wansink who led the research. ‘Whether it be “power peas” or “dinosaur broccoli trees”, giving a food a fun name makes kids think it will be more fun to eat. And it
seems to keep working – even the next day.’
When 186 four-year olds were given carrots called ‘X-ray Vision Carrots’ they ate nearly twice as much as they did on the lunch days when they were simply labelled as ‘carrots’. Moreover the children continued to eat about 50% more carrots even on the days when they were no longer labelled.

Similar results have also been found with adults. A restaurant study showed that when the Seafood Filet was changed to ‘Succulent Italian Seafood Filet’ sales increased by 28% and taste rating increased by 12%. ‘Same food, but different expectations, and a different experience,’ said Wansink who is also the author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.

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First Published September 2009

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