By Steve Rivkin
Give a vegetable a catchy name – such as X-Ray Vision Carrots or Dinosaur Broccoli Trees or Tomato Bursts – and kids will eat nearly twice as much of it.
That’s the finding from a Cornell University Food & Brand Lab study of preschoolers. And the results were lasting. Even on lunch days when special names weren’t assigned, the kids continue to eat about 50% more of that same veggie.
“Cool names can make for cool foods,” said the study’s lead author. “Giving a food a fun name makes kids think it will be more fun to eat.”
Marketers know a similar approach works with adults: Spark their imagination, and it will spark their appetites.
- “Belgian Black Forest Chocolate Cake” outperforms basic “Chocolate Cake” as a menu item.
- “Succulent Italian Seafood Filet” outperformed plain “Seafood Filet” in a restaurant study. (Sales increased by 28% and taste ratings by 12%.)
They’re the same foods, but with different expectations because of the name – and thus a different experience.