Fonts count for healthy food perception

Tuesday, 26 February, 2019

Fonts count for healthy food perception

The font used in menus and labels can convey a lot more than just the words.

Researchers from Ohio State University recently found that when restaurant diners read menus with healthy food options printed in a typeface that appears handwritten, they were more likely to believe that the food was better for their bodies, made of better ingredients and prepared with more care than similar items printed in machine-style fonts.

Interestingly, the positive-response phenomenon occurred only when restaurant or menu items were perceived as healthy or locally grown. It was not apparent for fast-food brands marketing low-quality hamburgers.

It seems that a font which appeared handwritten, even if it had been produced by a computer and not actually written by hand, triggered the perception that extra love and care were imbued in the restaurant’s offerings. Handwritten-style fonts convinced customers that more heart, more effort and more love had gone into producing the food even though it hadn’t cost more money.

This research, funded by the Marriott Foundation, has been published in the Journal of Business Research.

Image credit: © Resnick

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