Many consumers rely on summary statistics offered by online and mobile platforms to attain nutrition information on menu items. While positive (vs. negative) summary cues garner more favorable consumer responses, this research provides a more nuanced understanding of this effect by examining the moderating role of two individual-level characteristics: health-consciousness and need for status. Two MTurk samples (Study 1: n = 142, Study 2: n = 119) were recruited in 2018. Findings from Study 1 suggest that health-conscious (vs. less health-conscious) consumers show a wider gap in perceived healthiness of a menu item in response to the valence of a health cue. This greater gap translates into more polarized attitudes toward the menu item. Findings from Study 2 indicate that consumers high (vs. low) in need for status exhibit less favorable attitudes toward a menu item with a negative health cue. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
- Strategy and Management