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EMAC 2022 Annual

The effect of simultaneous and sequential decision mode on the number of food choices

Published: May 24, 2022


Sadaf Mokarram Dorri, University of Amsterdam; Siegfried Dewitte, KU Leuven


Overpurchasing and overconsumption of food are among the main drivers of food waste and unsustainable use of natural resources. In 4 studies, we investigated the effect of decision mode (sequential versus simultaneous mode) on the number of choices that consumers might take at the time of purchase in the food domain. The result showed that when consumers decide in a simultaneous decision mode of two food items, they are less likely to choose both options compared to when they decide in a sequential decision mode. We suggest, compared to sequential decision mode, simultaneous mode provides consumers with a higher opportunity to express themselves through their choices, and hence they are more likely to select their most preferred option than both options. We also ruled out consumption occasion as an alternative explanation. We discuss the theoretical contributions and the managerial implications of our research.