Broad Street Licensing Group Food News

Supersize Me

Are we surprised?

A study[1] says combo meals encourage unhealthy eating. Duh!

Consumers perceive value in the bundled meals, which typically have much more calories than if ordered separately simply because restaurants offer larger sizes. Those participants who didn’t order fries in an a-la-carte–only scenario ordered a bundled meal with medium fries, a 380-calorie increase. Those who ordered small fries from the a la carte–only menu chose a bundled meal with medium fries, 150 calories more. Restaurants like combo meals, both for profitability (because of deals from beverage suppliers) and convenience (by speeding up service). They also find consumers want them. El Pollo Loco, for example, says its research tells it that customers prefer combos.

But one of the study’s authors points out that restaurants have removed small drink options, substituting massive 44 oz. “super sizes” instead.


[1] Source: “Consumption Effects of Bundling: Consumer Perceptions, Firm Actions, and Public Policy Implications” in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing by Kathryn Sharpe (University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business) and Richard Staelin (Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business)  called

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