When Value Trumps Health in a Supersized World
Journal of Marketing, 77 (May), Forthcoming
48 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 23, 2012
Marketers often offer consumers the option to “supersize” a food purchase intended for immediate consumption. Supersized products may be attractive to consumers from the standpoint of the unit pricing as ordering a larger size of the same product results in a per unit savings and offers consumers the opportunity to meet their value-based financial goals. In the current research, we show that such pricing strategies not only lead to greater purchase and consumption, they do so by impacting important consumer goals in unrelated domains, namely by decreasing the importance placed on health goals. While supersized pricing can have a powerful effect on purchase behavior, providing health cues can prevent the decreased focus on health. In addition, supersized pricing can be utilized to increase size choice of healthy foods. Contributions to theory are discussed, particularly for understanding decisions regarding that pursuit of multiple goals specifically at the intersection of health and financial goals. Additionally, both marketing and public policy implications are provided, including those for the growing obesity epidemic and frequent use of supersized pricing strategies for unhealthy foods.
Keywords: supersizing, nonlinear pricing, health, goal interactions, value, obesity
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