Title: Healthy choices with the aid of technology

Authors: Alicia De la Peña; Raquel Castaño

Addresses: Tecnológico de Monterrey, EGADE Business School, Ave. Fundadores y Rufino Tamayo s/n, Col. Valle Oriente, Garza García, NL 66269, México ' Tecnológico de Monterrey, EGADE Business School, Ave. Fundadores y Rufino Tamayo s/n, Col. Valle Oriente, Garza García, NL 66269, México

Abstract: As more people rely on foods prepared outside the home, there is a need to provide consumers with nutrition information so they can make informed choices before ordering a meal at a restaurant. With a qualitative research we explore consumers' concerns about food and nutrition and their potential receptivity to smartphone applications and quick response (QR) codes to acquire nutritional information. Results suggest that individuals are willing to use their smartphones and QR codes as long as restaurants provide accurate and easy to understand nutritional information to guide them in their decisions. We found three different segments of restaurant patrons willing to use QR codes: health-oriented, calorie-oriented and hedonistic consumers. Findings from this study can be used to design social marketing strategies to communicate relevant nutritional information to assist consumers in their decision making and voluntary behaviour change.

Keywords: healthy food choices; nutritional information; QR codes; quick response codes; built environment; obesity prevention; health-oriented consumers; technology applications; health foods; healthy options; nutrition; informed choices; dining out; restaurants; restaurant meals; smartphones; smartphone applications; smartphone apps; accurate information provision; easy to understand; decision making; restaurant patrons; restaurant customers; diners; calorie-oriented consumers; hedonistic consumers; social marketing strategies; voluntary behaviour changes; information and communications technology; information technology; ICT.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEAM.2014.066151

International Journal of the Built Environment and Asset Management, 2014 Vol.1 No.3, pp.252 - 267

Received: 27 Jun 2014
Accepted: 12 Jul 2014

Published online: 03 Dec 2014 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article