Anticipatory Savoring and Consumption

Just Thinking about That First Bite of Chocolate Fills You Up Faster

Iain R. Black*, Charles S. Areni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Two laboratory studies examine how consumers adjust their eating to the size of the portion they expect to receive. Participants who knew in advance that they would receive six pieces of chocolate waited less time before eating each piece and ate more pieces than participants who expected to receive only two pieces when they started, even though both groups were ultimately offered six pieces. In the second study, natural variance in how long participants waited before tasting the chocolates was negatively related to how many additional pieces they thought they could eat after finishing the last piece. These results suggest that increasing the interval prior to taking the first bite of a piece of chocolate reduced overall consumption. When consumers focus their attention on eating, the interval before taking the first bite captures anticipatory savoring—psychologically looking forward to the actual consumption experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-524
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology and Marketing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

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