NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Bryan Bollinger

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Working Papers

January 2010Calorie Posting in Chain Restaurants
with Phillip Leslie, Alan Sorensen: w15648
We study the impact of mandatory calorie posting on consumers’ purchase decisions, using detailed data from Starbucks. We find that average calories per transaction falls by 6%. The effect is almost entirely related to changes in consumers’ food choices—there is almost no change in purchases of beverage calories. There is no impact on Starbucks profit on average, and for the subset of stores located close to their competitor Dunkin Donuts, the effect of calorie posting is actually to increase Starbucks revenue. Survey evidence and analysis of commuters suggest the mechanism for the effect is a combination of learning and salience.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll publicationsWorking Papers only

 
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