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ABSTRACT

Food samples can prime healthier or less healthy choices. We show this in both field (Study 1) and lab (Studies 2–3) settings. Healthy samples (Studies 1–2) or samples framed as healthy (Study 3) increase healthy purchases of both food products that are similar to the sample (Study 1) and those that are less closely related to it (Study 2–3). The studies advance our knowledge concerning the effects of samples, demonstrating that samples can serve as primes and encourage purchase of a greater number of products that are similar to the sample on dimensions such as healthiness. The findings can be used by retailers, policy bodies, and consumers to nudge consumers toward healthier options.