Purpose - This paper seeks to explore the effect of mood states and gender on the relationship between health-related information and variety seeking (VS) behavior among food products. Design/methodology/approach - Two experiments were conducted to examine the moderating effects of mood states and gender on the relationship between health-related information and VS. Findings - The results indicate that sad people incorporate more VS than happy people when health warnings and nutritional labeling are absent, but sad and happy people tend to converge to similar levels of VS when health warnings and nutritional labeling are present. Moreover, males incorporate less VS than females when health warnings are present, while females incorporate less VS than males when nutritional labeling is present. Practical implications - In the absence of health warnings and nutritional labeling, it is a wiser way for leading brands to cultivate positive consumer moods by utilization of humorous ads, so that they do not search for varied products. For less well-known brands, inducing negative consumer moods is a better way to encourage brand switching. Further, providing nutritional labeling will strengthen consumer brand loyalty by reducing their VS, especially for females. As the health warnings reduce the VS for males, marketers may take advantage of this effect by associating brand names with health warnings. Originality/value - As VS is found to be related to over-consumption, it is important to investigate the effects of health-related information on VS. However, little empirical evidence has been found on the effect of health-related information on VS behavior. Further, this study takes into consideration moderating factors as it is important for marketers to realize how health-related information interacts with the consumer's VS behavior under different mood states and gender. The findings demonstrate that the relationship between health-related information and VS is moderated by mood states and gender differences, an important contribution to the research on VS behavior.