Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980; in 2014, over 1.9 billion adults were overweight according to The World Health Organisation.
From ‘Supersize me’ menu options to 50% extra free pack offers, no wonder consumers are overeating. It’s no secret that we as modern consumers can’t resist a bargain and larger packs generally tend to be better value for money and with these incentives it’s easy to give in.
As a trend, the big eat challenge as seen on Man Vs Food began in eateries where customers started taking on the biggest meal on the menu with the chance of winning a prize, even if it was only respect from your mates as you try to be the next Adam Richman.
This trend quickly made its way to retail and that is why modern day consumers may feel cheated if a box, bottle or bag is any smaller than this phase of ever-expanding pack sizes. Consumers can be misled into thinking it’s better value rather than it’s more than what they need with emphasis put on value over quantity.
Nowadays consumers are becoming more concerned with their diet and actively wanting to find ways to implement healthy eating into their daily routine.
Food and packaging manufacturers therefore need to make it clearer for consumers to distinguish portion sizes, as the convenience and snacking trends continue to grow. Consumers need packaging that is clearly labelled showing portion sizes which helps to extend shelf life of left overs - this is important as single occupancy households increase in popularity. Whether a product is for 1,2 or 3 people, nutrition labels would clearly state the risks of overconsumption if they exceed the recommended intake.
Food and drink manufacturers however do need to be careful with their pricing strategy for this to work, as we know consumers look for value so a smaller pack with less contents at the same price will not go down well. Consumers are likely to feel tricked unless packaging and food innovators provide benefits to counterbalance this loss of excess food.
Comfort foods and treats such as chocolate, crisps and sugary drinks seem to be those in larger pack formats, however, as it currently stands consumers are bingeing rather than giving themselves a little treat. If brands made a conscious effort to produce smaller packs of these calorific foods, consumers would be discouraged to overindulge.
There is a tendency to blame lack of self control for overeating so why not give consumers a helping hand by making a literal cut down in the size of packaging, tableware and meals served in restaurants.
Post Written by Rebecca
Photo Courtesy of Avril Carpenter