The Portion-Size Effect: How Increasing the Number of Portion-Size Options Can Increase the Volume of Food Consumption

Jing Lei, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada
Tripat Gill, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada
In two experimental studies it was found that the choice for larger portion-sizes of food increased as the number of available options increased. Specifically, the “Large” portion-size was chosen more often when an “Extra Large” option was added to the option set of “Small, Medium and Large”. Conversely, the choice for the “Small” portion-size decreased with increasing options. These effects were found for both beverage and fast food meal choices, but they disappeared when calorie information was provided. It is proposed that these effects occur due to changes in consumption norms and consumption guilt as the number of portion-size options increases.
[ to cite ]:
Jing Lei and Tripat Gill (2009) ,"The Portion-Size Effect: How Increasing the Number of Portion-Size Options Can Increase the Volume of Food Consumption", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 1004-1004.