NASHVILLE , Tenn.Consumers often cant pass up a "supersize" deal, despite possible health consequences. However, new research suggests consumers' willingness to save a few pennies on supersized purchases works also with healthy foods, according to a new paper published in the Journal of Marketing.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University found that by feeding into consumers desire to get a bargain, the same economic supersizing mindset that leads to dangerously unhealthy choices could help some people with healthier options as well.
One of the studies in our research paper shows similar supersizing effects happening with the purchase of baby carrots," said Vanderbilt marketing researcher Kelly Haws. "Consumers are very attracted to deals in general and saving money per unit is very appealing to us, even when the deal is a larger bag of baby carrots."
The term supersizing" was coined by the McDonalds corporation in the mid-1990s to denote the practice of selling larger portions of fries and drinks for disproportionately small increases in price. McDonalds dropped the term by the early 2000s.
However, supersizing is still an effective business practice that lives on, especially in the fast food industry.
We know the health implications of a giant latte or supersized fries, so a little justification through feeling financially savvy and saving money makes us feel better about our decision and increases consumption," Haws said.
The research also found that reminders of nutritional goalssuch as labeling calories on menuscan have some mitigating effect on the harmful effects of supersizing.