A Smooth Choice

ImageA few months ago, Innocent launched a 160ml smoothie.
It’s a good idea. I’ve always found the last couple of mouthfuls are unnecessary. It’s nice to have the choice of a smaller smoothie that’s conveniently under 100 calories. They’re priced closer to £1 than £2, unlike the bigger version, so seem good value as we do the maths in our head. And they’re being sold as part of supermarket meal deals, so there’s a good commercial reason.

Another great reason might have something to do with framing.

After all, all your choices are made in context. You pick a smoothie by considering it alongside other brands of smoothie, other sizes of smoothie and whether you should give up altogether and buy apple juice. Suddenly, adding this 160ml version makes the usual 250ml version look bigger. It makes the child size version look smaller. It provides another choice of sizes from Innocent to deliberate between – you can now compromise if you’re indecisive on a smaller size.

And it adds an anchor for smoothie prices. The 160ml smoothie is £1.09, the 250ml £1.79. Now you feel smoothies should cost between those ranges – Innocent doesn’t seem unusually priced. It’s not surprising Sainsbury’s own brand smoothies are £1.25, a bit cheaper than the premium Innocent brand, but more expensive than a Coke – they’re pricing within their category.

If only I could find a way to persuade all of London’s coffee shops to stop charging upwards of £2.50 for a latte, just because Starbucks does.

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