Sneaky Small Sins Flying Under the Radar: Package Sizes and Consumption Self-Regulation

Rita Coelho do Vale, ISEG-Economics and Business School, Portugal
Rik Pieters, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Marcel Zeelenberg, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Contrary to the general belief that consumers are better able to self-regulate their consumption when tempting products are presented in small package sizes, we found that larger package sizes can be better self-regulatory tools. We propose that large package sizes, compared to small package sizes, are more likely to activate a conflict between indulging in temptation versus self-regulatory goals, which prompt efforts to exert self-control. As hypothesized, the offer of tempting products in large package sizes, compared with small package sizes, reduced the likelihood of consumers with high self-regulatory concerns initiating consumption and led to lower total quantities consumed.
[ to cite ]:
Rita Coelho do Vale, Rik Pieters, and Marcel Zeelenberg (2008) ,"Sneaky Small Sins Flying Under the Radar: Package Sizes and Consumption Self-Regulation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 843-844.