Our national and cultural health initiatives have shifted to children eating healthier and making smarter choices in meal selection. Education boards across the country are pushing to make healthy lunches a core value of their institutions.
Schools are seeking the help of manufacturers, visual marketing experts, and merchandising professionals to help engage with students about making healthier food choices. Marketing experts have discovered that the largest issue with convincing adolescents is making healthy options more visually appealing. Students want to eat something that looks good.
Schools have discovered that implementing appealing displays of quality food in their commercial refrigerators, around the lunch room, and all over the school greatly increased student interest. Through persuasion and intelligent visual marketing strategies, schools are helping to establish healthy habits in the upcoming generation.
Persuasion via Presentation
More so than adults, children are visual eaters who make day-to-day choices based on a food’s aesthetic. Many schools offer healthy options such as fruit, salad, and grilled entrees, but they are being overshadowed by greasy pizza and fried nuggets.
Taking unhealthy food away completely causes students feel controlled, causing resentment towards the healthier options. For this reason, the challenge for visual marketers is in presenting healthier foods as an attractive “premium” option.
Fortunately, visual marketing in a school setting is not too difficult. Good lighting, proper equipment, and fresh produce are normally persuasive enough to sway the young observers.
The Strategy for Success
Visual marketing for children’s food is broken down into five facets: color, texture, landscape, decoration, and communication. Each of these reinforce the others to encourage healthy eating.
- Color is the most basic principle that dictates the effectiveness of your visual merchandising. You need to display items in a complimentary, attractive, and colorful manner.
- The texture of a display causes a psychological reaction to the materials and placement of the display. Different surface materials in the display invoke different emotional responses from the consumer.
- Landscaping helps to keep the eyes moving across a display. It creates a hierarchy in which healthy “premium” options are the top of the line.
- Decoration helps to generate enthusiasm and joy around the display. This is exceptionally important when attempting to convince kids to choose celery over chips.
- Communication is arguably the most important piece of the marketing puzzle. When a child knows the implications of a choice, they are more likely to internalize it and make that a habit. If your visual marketing clearly explains the benefits to the student, they are more likely to develop healthier practices.
Visualize Healthier Choices
Schools and districts that, have properly engaged in these strategies have found a dramatic increase in fruit consumption. Children embraced the campaign without probing or coaxing and developed a stronger desire to eat better. Become a part of the solution by taking steps to encourage your students to participate in healthier choices.
If you’re looking to upgrade your school’s lunch choices, consider Imbera’s state-of-the-art commercial refrigerators to add to your visual appeal with modern lighting and a sleek design. Contact Imbera at 678-504-6835, and we’ll match you to the commercial refrigerator that best fits your school’s display needs.