Downsize in 3D, Supersize in 1D: Effects of the Dimensionality of Package and Portion Size Changes on Size Estimations, Consumption, and Quantity Discount Expectations
54 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2008
Date Written: July 17, 2008
Understanding consumer response to product supersizing and downsizing is an important issue for policy makers, consumer researchers and marketers. In three laboratory experiments the authors found that changes in size appear smaller when products change in all three dimensions (height, width, and length) than when they change in only one dimension. Specifically, they showed that a) size estimations follow an inelastic power function of the actual size of the products; b) size estimations are even less elastic when size changes in 3D than when it changes in 1D; and c) the effect of dimensionality is not reduced by making size information available. As a result, consumers expect (and marketers offer) steeper quantity discounts when packages and portions are supersized in 3D than when they are supersized in 1D; consumers pour more product into and out of conical containers (in which volume changes in 3D) than cylindrical containers (in which volume changes in 1D); and consumers are more likely to supersize and less likely to downsize when package and portion sizes change in 1D than when they change in 3D.
Keywords: Packaging, Size Choice, Food, Visual Biases, Estimation, Psychophysics
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