Gain framing increases support for measures promoting plant-based eating in university settings

Ana Sofia Marques Carvalho, Cristina Isabel Albuquerque Godinho, João Graça*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Global concerns with public health, animal suffering, and environmental problems linked to meat-centric diets have increased over the last decade. One way to help address these concerns is to implement measures that reduce meat consumption and increase plant-based eating in collective meal contexts, such as catering services in schools and universities. The present study provides insight into how consumers may react to these measures. A simple experiment (within-subjects design; N = 295) tested whether framing a set of plant-forward measures in terms of gain (i.e., measures to promote or increase the consumption of plant-based meals) or loss (i.e., measures to curtail or reduce the consumption of meals with meat) impacted consumer support for these measures in university settings. The results showed that consumer support was higher for gain-framed measures compared to loss-framed measures. Furthermore, the impact of framing was higher for measures focusing on sensory cues (e.g., make plant-based meals tastier and more appealing vs. make meals with meat less tasty and less appealing) and lower for measures focusing on behavioral constraints (e.g., serve only plant-based meals vs. do not serve meals with meat). Overall, the findings suggest that framing plant-forward measures in terms of gain can be a simple and potentially effective way to increase consumer support for food sustainability transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104500
Number of pages4
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Consumer support
  • Framing
  • Meat consumption
  • Planetary Health Diet
  • Plant-based diets


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