TOM MEYVIS: Again, we are mindless eaters and mindless drinkers.
Meyvis says when we drink we don’t think. He told me about a study done on soup drinkers. Participants were given bowls of soup. Some were normal. But some had tubes hidden underneath which secretly re-filled them. So as people ate, their bowls kept filling back up. By the end of the study, the diners with the rigged bowls ate over 70 percent more soup, but they didn’t believe they had.
MEYVIS: We just keep on eating and drinking until our plate is empty, or until our cup is empty.
So putting Coke in a smaller can could get consumers to drink less. Meyvis says that when food and drinks are individually packaged, people tend to eat less. Pretend you get a bag of chocolates. You’ll just mindlessly eat them.
MEYVIS: But then if I wrap the chocolates individually, then what’s going to happen is you’ll eat less. You eat five or six.
Instead of the whole bag. The wrappers act as an external cue. Each time you reach for a new chocolate you have to unwrap it. And unwrapping forces you to make a decision, which is what you have to do when you open a new can of Coke. But what makes you open a new can? To find out I headed to my local Target.