Hedonic myopia: Emphasizing hedonic benefits of non-perishable food makes consumers insensitive to expiration dates in food purchase

Kang Jun Choi, He Michael Jia, Jae Young Lee, B. Kyu Kim, Keunwoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although the expiration date of non-perishable food only indicates whether the food is still in its peak quality, consumers tend to misinterpret the meaning of the expiration date and thus avoid purchasing near-expiry food. Due to such aversion to food close to expiration dates, a huge amount of non-perishable food is wasted due to being unsold and thus uneaten every year. The current research explores a novel solution to mitigate consumers' aversion to near-expiry non-perishable food at the purchase stage. Drawing on the literature on consumer impatience, we propose a hedonic myopia hypothesis. Specifically, when hedonic (vs. utilitarian) benefits of non-perishable food are emphasized, consumers desire to consume it immediately and disregard delayed consequences. Hence, they become less averse to near-expiry food. We find convergent support for the hedonic myopia hypothesis and the impatience-based mechanism through various methods, including an analysis of actual sales data from an online store, a field experiment, and a randomized controlled experiment. The demonstrated hedonic myopia effect provides important theoretical and practical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-202
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume138
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Expiration date
  • Hedonic benefits
  • Myopia
  • Non-perishable food
  • Utilitarian benefits

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