Does Size Matter?

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A recent NY Times editorial, "Perfectly Fat", questions the motives of MAR’s recent marketing campaign for their new ‘perfectly big’ Mega M&M’s (each M&M is 55% larger than the original M&M).  This caught my eye because those precious little colorful candies that ‘melt in your mouth and not in your hands’, just happen to be my personal favorite!  So, if M&M’s are up to something…I’m in!

The question, is there anything diabolical behind marketing bigger candy?

Does it matter that Mars enlarged the size of their M&M’s?  Or is it simply another case where consumer goods are being marketed and sold to an innocent and unsuspecting American public in larger and larger quantities?  It does appear that the new M&M marketing campaign just might be aimed at consumers who are perceived as folks who just can’t get enough of a good thing – even if too much isn’t good for them. 

On the flip side of that argument, every company in America, large or small, is looking for ways to improve margins, increase market share and drive sales.  Unfortunately, the end results of some of those strategies seem to be larger waistlines.  It is possible one might surmise that if there’s market research to show we like our Big Mac’s bigger and our French fries super-sized, then companies like Mars are going to feel like they’ve hit the product development mother load.  Simply make more and make it bigger. 

There’s plenty of evidence that Americans (particularly those of us with weight issues), aren’t paying attention to what and how much we’re eating.  So, for the sake of argument, are there circumstances when companies are at least partially responsible for what and how much we eat – beyond what’s required by law?  Would ever-increasing numbers of overweight children and adults and an increase in the onset of Type 2 Diabetes be an appropriate circumstance? 

I certainly don’t have the answers, but I’m pretty sure larger packaging isn’t doing any of us any good.  I just recognize that for myself, it isn’t the size of my M&M’s that’s the issue – it’s about being able to say ‘enough’.  Being accountable for what I eat and listening to my own internal cues.  Because, M&M’s aren’t the enemy…they’re delicious!


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