|M.Sc Student||Shkolnik Emma|
|Subject||Are Consumers Being Fooled by Health Bars?|
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Eitan Gerstner|
|Full Thesis text|
The rising popularity of health bars yields billions of dollars in revenue for manufacturers. This can be attributed to the clever positioning and advertisement of health bar brands as a healthy energy boost and a healthy alternative to candy bars. Manufacturers do so by advertisements such as “no added sugar”, “contains fruit”, which can trigger a Health Halo bias in the consumers' minds. Are consumers indeed biased in favor of health bars? Do manufacturers aim their marketing efforts to activate Health biases? Can health bar brands be trusted to deliver on their "health" promises? This research is designed to test these questions. We find evidence of a Health Halo bias in consumer perceptions generated by the packaging and marketing claims advertised on health bars. In addition, we find that health bars are not as healthy as manufacturers claim. The research suggests that consumers should not count on health-bars to be part of a healthy diet. Organizations interested in helping their associates stay healthy should demand that food vendors operating on their premises offer healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables.