Nutritional food choices: Decision strategies for upgraded food items
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- Studentoppgaver (SV-NHS) 
For the modern eater, it can sometimes seem as if, for every new food trend that emerge, a new food component is to be vilified. Be it sugar, fat or gluten, a new menace always appears. In response to these trends, a growing number of food items are now created in an upgraded version, similar to original ones in aspect and taste but differing in nutritional values. The existing literature on decision making regarding classic food choices shows that most of these decisions are not made according to rational behavior, by weighting every available piece of information into a holistic judgment but rather through simple heuristics. The intended benefits of upgraded food items being abstract and long-term compared to their original version, this study examines the nature of the decision strategies used in choosing between such pairs. Using upgraded food items created by the French Center for Culinary Innovation, a computerized process-tracing experiment was implemented to monitor the acquisition of nutritional information by participants (N = 120). While, in accordance with previous findings, the results show a prevalence of heuristics limiting search and using disproportionally weighted attributes, they highlight inadequacies of preferred strategies with current nutritional information displays. Additionally, an exploration of the nature of nutritional difference between two versions of a food item suggest an impact of the quantitative value of an upgrade on the ease of decision and on the preference towards upgraded items.
Master's thesis in Culinary leadership and innovation