Fast-food restaurants use a number of methods by which consumers are tempted to eat more, even if they are not hungry, says a study from the University of Illinois, USA, informs by dailymail.co.uk.
Aggressive advertising stimulates the visual and olfactory sensation of hunger to oversized portions, there are many ways to fast-food industry encourages customers to consume more – a phenomenon that has become one of the main causes of obesity globally. Junk food firms confuse the public about healthy eating.
In a new study, Brian Wansink, University of Illinois, studied people’s tendency to eat more than they need, the key role is played by the food’s presentation.
Among the most important strategies used by fast-food restaurants include:
Located on the High Streets, shopping centers and gas stations, fast food restaurants attract customers while they are shopping or traveling to a particular place, even when they are not hungry.
Visual stimulation comes with posters in the window and offers located behind the counter, the fast-food companies present oversized images that induce hunger.
In addition to visual stimulation, fast food chains rely on people’s desire to be with others, providing a space for customers to sit at the table with other people – which means that they will stay longer and will spend time together.
Auditory and olfactory stimulation
Fast-food restaurants use full olfactory stimulation, serving customers at the counter, where they stand in line and see what the person in front of them bought. The next customer has a tendency to order more when his turn comes.
An important role plays music, especially slow pop music, which encourages customers to spend more time in that restaurant.
Fast food restaurants began to create all kinds of facilities and offers to attract customers – from offering drive-throughs so you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own car to be served, to meals deals where you can get a drink, main meal and dessert all in one go.
Making life easier: Fast food is served so it’s easy to unwrap and simple to eat with your hands
This isn’t to make life easier for the customer’s precious time but again to make them consume more. According to studies, one of the strongest influences on consumption represents easy access to products.
Changing the perception of portion sizes
The so-called menu offers is another strategy to encourage people to eat more. They create the false impression that people save money when they actually buy more food than they need. If a customer buys a burger with fries included on the menu, this means you will eat both products, even if it would be enough just the burger, for example.
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An important role plays also how serving portions. If people get chicken pieces in a large box, they consider that it is only one portion and, most likely, will eat everything. But if the same amount of chicken is divided into three portions, served in three small boxes, people were less likely to eat it.
When excess becomes the rule
Fast-food chains offer products in a variety of sizes, but the client is encouraged to choose the largest portion presented as the most advantageous offer. People have a tendency to eat everything, as explained above, no worrying about the quantity.
In this case, the crafty trick of the fast-food industry is that they have transformed consuming large portions seem to be ‘the norm’.
Wansink added: ‘People can be very impressionable when it comes to how much they will eat. There is a flexible range as to how much food an individual can eat and one can often “make room for more”.