The future is not about more …… but better ….
Limited availability extends consumer enjoyment
The pleasure of consuming usually decreases with repeated consumption, but creating a sense of limited availability can slow satiation. In five studies, researchers found that telling participants that a product—grapes or chocolate—were available only for a limited time led them to enjoy the product for a longer time than participants who were told the product was commonly available.
In the case of the chocolate candy, participants also ate more, were more likely to purchase the candy and were willing to pay more for it. These effects emerged only after repeated consumption; limited availability did not affect initial liking of the product.
While satiation is physiological, it also relies on how much attention people pay to the amount consumed. “Limited time only” messages trigger a focus on consuming as much as possible with less attention to the quantity consumed. Indeed, when nudged to pay attention to quantity consumed, people became satiated exactly like those who thought the chocolate was continuously available.
For firms facing a constantly changing set of consumer preferences, the results suggest an avenue to increase demand without incurring new product costs—as with McDonald’s McRib sandwich, which has cycled in and out of its menu for over 30 years.
Sevilla, J., and Redden, J. P., “Limited Availability Reduces the Rate of Satiation,” Journal of Marketing Research, April 2014