The Influence of Price Discount Versus Bonus Pack on the Preference for Virtue and Vice Foods

Mishra, Arul; Mishra, Himanshu
February 2011
Journal of Marketing Research (JMR);Feb2011, Vol. 48 Issue 1, p196
Academic Journal
The authors find that consumers prefer a bonus pack to a price discount for virtue foods but they prefer a price discount to a bonus pack for vice foods. Prior research has shown that, all else being equal, consumers prefer bonus packs to price discounts. The authors propose that this preference does not hold for vice food, because consumers cannot generate good justifications for buying such food when a bonus pack is offered because this would mean consuming more of the vice. However, a price discount on a vice food can be justified because it acts as a guilt-mitigating mechanism. For virtue foods, the absence of both anticipated postconsumption guilt and the resultant need to justify leads consumers to prefer a bonus pack to a price discount. The authors demonstrate the proposed effect and test its underlying process across five experiments.


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