Why kids love McDonald's - familiarity makes favorites

In psychology there is something called 'mere exposure effect', meaning if people are repeatedly exposed a subject, they begin to prefer that subject over other subjects. Many psychology experiments clearly demonstrated that our brain always prefers the familiar. This effect has a huge implications for marketers and consumers. Companies know saturating consumers sensations is a sure way to increase sales. A split second of consumers' perception is enough to generate a persuasive emotional reaction.
A recent small study (with 63 children ages 3 to 5) suggests the same hamburgers, french fries, chicken nuggets, and even milk and carrots all taste better to children if they think they came from McDonald's:
"almost 77%, for example, thought that McDonald's french fries served in a McDonald's bag tasted better, compared with 13% who liked the fries in a plain white bag. Apparently carrots, too, taste better if they are served on paper with the McDonald's name on it. More than 54% preferred them, compared with 23% each for those who liked the unbranded carrots and those who thought they tasted the same".


John said...

How much of that spills over into our adult decisions? Politics, religion, companies to work for, cars we buy, where we shop, etc.

Very interesting.

Sicilian said...

Life. . . I think the stats are right on. . . . . which is why we should start early on teaching our kids good nutrition habits.

BackPageBox said...

Human beings are very scared of the unknown, that is why we choose what is familiar. Still, we should always try to be aware of the choices we make and wonder if it's just rationalization or our real reason.

Very nice blog, I love numbers.