There’s an interesting study published in the October issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology. The researchers, Adriana Madzharov and Lauren Block of Baruch College, CUNY, wanted to observe the effect of product package information on consumer behavior.
More specifically, they wanted to see if a package depicting more units of the food would induce a consumer to eat more. For example, will a bag of chips with 15 chips showing on it cause people to eat more than a bag showing just 5?
What do you think they found out?
What you need to know:
1. The number of items on the front of the package affects people’s judgments of how much food is inside. People also judged the portion size to be bigger when there were many items pictured on the package than when there were few.
2. People ate more food from packages with many items pictured on them than from packages with few items pictured on them.
3. Visual thinkers were most impacted.
What to do at the supermarket:
Now that you know about an additional facet of marketing psychology, how can you fight the urge to eat more? Not easy, but if you could set some house rules:
- Never eat directly from the bag, rather place snack into a plate or bowl, thus exercising restraint and portion control.
- Buy 100 calorie packs. Psychologically it’s hard to open another package once you’ve finished the first.
- Keep a very limited amount of snacks in your pantry at any given time. Yes, this means forgoing a lot of those awesome double-coupon, buy 1 get 3 free “deals.”
(thanks EC, for the hat-tip)