Effectiveness of visual nudges for encouraging healthier beverage choices from vending machines

Enola Kay, Eva Kemps, Ivanka Prichard, Marika Tiggemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Issues Addressed: Research suggests visual nudging techniques can subtly encourage healthier consumption. Two experiments explored the effect of four visual primes for nudging drink choices from a vending machine display. Methods: Participants (17–25 years) were randomly assigned to view vending machine advertising posters containing pictorial nudges of water, soft drink, general health (runner), or a text-only control, for nudging vending machine choices. Participants then selected an item from a vending machine display containing drinks only (Experiment 1; n = 164), or both drinks and snack foods (Experiment 2, n = 684). Results: In both experiments, nudging condition predicted beverage choice. Specifically, the water image nudged healthier beverage choices in both experiments. However, there was no effect on food choice in Experiment 2. Furthermore, in both experiments, liking and habitual consumption of chosen items were also significant predictors of choice, but condition predicted beverage choice over and above these. Conclusion: A water prime may be an effective means of encouraging healthier beverage choices in a vending machine environment. So What?: Findings have the potential to inform strategies for encouraging healthier beverage choices from vending machine environments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • beverage choice
  • food choice
  • nudging
  • vending machines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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