Phillip M. Warsaw, PhD; Alfonso Morales, PhD
Background: Recent research indicates that hospitals are serving an increased role in retail food markets. This article examines the potential effects of pricing strategies on consumer behavior at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics.
Methods: Biweekly point-of-sales data from 2015-2017 were collected for the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics’ largest retail cafeteria. T tests were used to identify differences in consumer behavior in response to price changes for bottled water, cheeseburgers, and the salad bar and potential impacts for alternatives.
Results: Purchases of bottled water and salad increased after price decreases were implemented; cheeseburger purchases decreased following the price increase.
Discussion: Foodservice pricing strategies can drive significant change in consumer behavior. However, consumer sensitivity to price changes may affect the financial viability of price-centric approaches.