Food and beverage giants are shrinking their offerings. Why? Consumers view sugar and fat to be the new tobacco, according to new research by Havas Worldwide, which found that in the last year 42 percent of consumers have reduced their sugar intake while 38 percent of consumers have decreased fat consumption. "Smaller sizes have always been appealing for products perceived as indulgent," explained Tim Maleeny, Havas' chief strategy officer, managing partner. "Somehow the smaller serving offsets a sense of guilt." For brands, going small may be key to their business, noted Allen Adamson, North American chairman at brand consulting firm Landor Associates. "The alternative—if they don't do this—is consumers will drop them off the shopping list, and that's deadly for a brand," he said.
Facing declining soda consumption, the brand has zeroed in on its mini-7.5 ounce option this year, working to market it more aggressively and making sure the smaller size, which appeals to consumers who yearn for portion control, is more widely distributed.
Mars and Hershey’s
In 2013, Mars took a move out of rival Hershey’s playbook and began offering bite-size versions of its candies. Both brands have promoted smaller sizes of their sweets as a way to cater to millennials who like the convenience and portion control the tiny treats offer.
Last week the Seattle-based coffee chain launched a mini-version of its Frappuccino, weighing in at 10 ounces. Available until July 6, the limited-time option caters to consumers who have asked the brand for more sizing choices, explained a rep.
The Atlanta-based beverage giant has been focused on its mini-size 7.5 ounce option this year, which boasted a sales bump of 9 percent during the first nine months of 2014, working to make sure it’s well-stocked in supermarkets across the nation.
While the chain regularly offers mini-beverages, it experimented with shrunken versions of its hot dog and chicken sandwich in January. “We’ve taken the snack-sized trend category by category,” said Sonic CMO Todd Smith. “It’s been incredibly successful for us. We plan to continue to offer that choice to our consumers.”