Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What's A Little Mold? Why Consumers Have Different Freshness Standards At Home

Date:
February 2, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Why is it acceptable for someone who would never purchase "expired" milk at the store to pour "expired" milk into a cup of coffee at breakfast? A new study explores the reasons consumers are more likely to consume products that are past their expiration dates if they are in their refrigerators than if they are in a store.

Why is it acceptable for someone who would never purchase "expired" milk at the store to pour "expired" milk into a cup of coffee at breakfast? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research explores the reasons consumers are more likely to consume products that are past their expiration dates if they are in their refrigerators than if they are in a store.

Authors Sankar Sen and Lauren G. Block (both Baruch College/CUNY) explored a phenomenon termed the "endowment effect," meaning that owning a product increases a consumer's valuation of it. The endowment effect has been studied before, but not in regard to perishable products.

"Few people would knowingly purchase products past their freshness dates; in fact, shoppers often leave supermarket shelves in disarray after combing the display for, say, the carton of milk stamped with the freshness date furthest away," the authors write. While there are many possible reasons consumers may want to consume "expired" food in their refrigerators, including "getting their money's worth," the authors found that even when they controlled for costs and motivations, consumers were still more likely to eat or drink expired products that were already in their possession.

"In this research, we show that merely owning a product past its freshness date provides enough reason for people to be willing to consume such expired products...Importantly, this increase in a person's willingness to consume an expired product is accompanied by lower estimates of the perceived risk of getting sick from consuming it," the authors explain.

In three studies, the researchers compared whether people wanted to consume yogurt smoothies that were past or not past their freshness dates. The authors believe that "ownership" of the smoothie shifted the default hypothesis from "shouldn't consume because expired" to "okay to consume."

"If you caught a glimpse of moldy cheese being served at a function you were attending, you wouldn't eat it, thinking it likely that you could get sick from old cheese," write the authors. "However, if that same moldy cheese is in your refrigerator, hey, what's a little mold?"


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sen et al. “Why My Mother Never Threw Anything Out”: The Effect of Product Freshness on Consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, June 2009 Print Edition: 081205114707043 DOI: 10.1086/596027

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "What's A Little Mold? Why Consumers Have Different Freshness Standards At Home." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126112319.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, February 2). What's A Little Mold? Why Consumers Have Different Freshness Standards At Home. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126112319.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "What's A Little Mold? Why Consumers Have Different Freshness Standards At Home." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126112319.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins