InformAction Newsletter
Actionable insights from Brandology®
       Consumers may not be ready for the 18 lb wheel of Gouda currently available at Costco, but they sure are interested in buying everything else in large quantities. 28% of consumers say they are buying more bulk foods than previously, and 47% wish that manufacturers would offer more economy sizes of all types of packaged goods.

       Most consumers’ primary motivation for buying in bulk is to cut costs. True bulk items are 20 to 80 percent cheaper than their packaged equivalents. Super sizes offer less savings, but it’s still significant. Many shoppers also appreciate that economy sizes use less packaging, putting bulk products at the virtuous intersection of greener and cheaper.

       Retailers are already reacting to the “buy in big quantities” trend. Target is extensively promoting “Extra Big, Extra Savings,” and some grocery stores are installing additional bulk bins and options for online by-the-case purchases.

       People in corner offices may initially balk at the idea of larger sizes. (How much will it extend the purchase cycle? Will it reduce our margins?) However, research shows that super- sizes actually increase product usage. Brian Wansink, a professor at Cornell University specializing in this area, has found that within seven days, people consume 50% of what they purchase from a club store, regardless of the package size. Think about that while I finish the 10 lb package of M&Ms in my desk drawer.

We should think about...
  • Should we offer more super sizes or bundled products to our customers?
  • Should we market existing economy sized products as an easy way to save money and save the planet?
  • Can we reduce the packaging used in our multi-packs?
Sources: New York Times 2006; Nielsen 2008; Parade 2008; Time 2006
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