Authors: A. Guha, A. Biswas, D. Grewal, S. Bhomwick, and J. Nordfält


This article develops a decision-making framework that highlights how display of numeric attribute information (e.g., display of calorie information) and shoppers’ goals (i.e., having a diet focus vs. a taste focus) jointly influence shoppers’ choices and preferences. Across two sets of studies, including a field study involving the launch of a new Coca-Cola product, the authors show that when food items are displayed in an aligned manner (i.e., when food items with lower-value calorie information are displayed below food items with higher calorie values), shoppers assign more importance weight to calorie gap information. In turn, higher importance weight assigned to calorie gap information leads diet-focused shoppers to relatively prefer low-calorie food items but leads taste-focused shoppers to relatively prefer higher-calorie food items. The third set of studies shows that this decision-making framework has widespread applicability and is relevant in any domain in which advertising, retail, and online displays show comparisons of numeric attribute information.


This article was particularly interesting for me since I have always enjoyed Coke as a brand and had an established collaboration with Coca-Cola Company in Sweden. When I called them up and asked if they could help us by providing us with free samples they immediately said yes.

The field studies were run in ICA Kvantum Sollentuna with the support of the store owners Anders and Stefan, two old students of mine. I stole their most visible endcap and designed a display where we interchangeably put regular Coke and Coke Life on the top.

We got unexpected help in the data collection from my nephew Zakarias. He is on the photo below together with Carl-Philip (Zack to the right and Philip to the left); Philip who at that time was my doctoral student and unfortunately did not become a co-author on this paper.