Boosting engagement with healthy food on social media

Pancer E., Philp M., Noseworthy T. J.

European Journal of Marketing, vol.56, no.11, pp.3007-3031, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 56 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/ejm-07-2021-0565
  • Journal Name: European Journal of Marketing
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Periodicals Index Online, ABI/INFORM, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Communication & Mass Media Index, Communication Abstracts, INSPEC, Psycinfo, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.3007-3031
  • Keywords: Calculative mindset, Calories, Engagement, Facebook, Fat, Food, Healthy food, Social media, Consumer behavior, Affect, Mindset
  • TED University Affiliated: No


© 2022, Ethan Pancer, Matthew Philp and Theodore J. Noseworthy.Purpose: Recent research has demonstrated that people are more likely to engage with fatty food content online. One way health advocates might facilitate engagement with healthier, calorie-light foods is to alter how people process food media. This research paper aims to investigate the moderating role of viewer mindset on consumer responses to digital food media. Design/methodology/approach: Two experiments were conducted by manipulating the caloric density of food media content and/or one’s mindset before viewing. Findings: Results show that the relationship between nutrition and engagement is moderated by consumer mindset, where activating a more calculative mindset before exposure can elevate social media engagement for calorie-light food media content. Research limitations/implications: These findings contribute to the domain of obesogenic digital environments and the role of nutrition in consuming food media. By examining how mindsets interact with affective evaluations, this work demonstrates that a default mindset based on instinct can be shifted and thus alter subsequent behavioral intentions. Practical implications: This work provides insight into what can boost the visibility and engagement of healthy food content on social media. Marketers can help promote healthier food media by cueing consumers to think more deliberately before exposure. Originality/value: This research builds on recent work by demonstrating how to boost engagement with healthy foods on social media by cueing a more thoughtful mindset.