When value trumps health in a supersized world

Kelly L. Haws, Karen Page Winterich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

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 because ordering a larger size of the same product results in a per-unit savings and offers consumers the opportunity to meet their valuebased financial goals. In this article, the authors show that such pricing strategies not only lead to greater purchase and consumption but do so by affecting important consumer goals in unrelated domains-namely, by decreasing the importance placed on health goals. Although 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 used to increase size choice of healthy foods. The authors discuss the study's contributions to theory, particularly for understanding decisions regarding the pursuit of multiple goals and, more specifically, those that lie at the intersection of health and finance. In addition, the results suggest both marketing and public policy implications, including those for the obesity epidemic and frequent use of supersized pricing strategies for unhealthy foods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-64
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marketing
Volume77
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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