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How changing a name has made people buy more coffee | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

How changing a name has made people buy more coffee

Large is the new extra large

Second Cup, (a coffee chain in Canada) has changed the names of their coffee sizes. If you were to buy a large today, a couple weeks ago it would have been the size of an extra large. So now the sizes go small, medium and large, previously it would have been medium, large and extra large. Why the name change? To sell more coffee obviously. Asking on of the people behind the counter about the name change, I was curious to know how the new large was selling. Apparently it’s their new most popular size. Who would have guessed?

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/405240 Steve Portigal

    This is very interesting since it seems directly opposite of the prevailing trend from the past 7 or so years. Is this a side-effect of the McDonald’s dropping of their super-sizes? Now things are shifting back to a more healthy and more user-friendly nomenclature?

    This is really huge, and I haven’t seen this anywhere.

  • http://www.disegnostudio.com Christina

    Yay! We can comment now!

    I used to think the coffee vocabulary was so fabricated but they learned that the ‘venti’ is named so because it is a 20 oz cup. Lightbulb moment. Shamefor for an Italian too.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/7099246 michaelSurtees

    Thanks for your insights Steve. Just from my personal experiences w/ getting coffee at Second Cup, I always order a large. Now that the size has changed I’m not going to go down and ask for a medium.

    Peressini, don’t give yourself too hard of a time. It’s hard enough for me to pronounce the different starbucks cups, so I just point.

  • http://www.portigal.com Steve Portigal

    And now this – http://today.reuters.com/business/newsArticle.aspx?type=realEstateRestaurantsHotels&storyID=nN09213623

    Wendy’s is replacing Biggie with Medium and then adding a Large that is really freakin’ huge.

  • http://www.michaelsurtees.com michael

    “3-1/2 cans of soda — as its large it pretty big”, I wonder when they decide to go extra large if they’ll use a pail.

  • http://curiousshopper.blogspot.com Sara

    Every time the Starbucks barista asks me “What size?” I say, “The smallest.” And she politely corrects me. “Oh, a tall?”

    No, I just want a small. Small is my size. I like small portions of food, small clothing and a small chai tea. The name “tall” makes no sense. It’s like saying “even our littlest size is still big.” Like they are pushing the “bigger is better” agenda.

    I am trying to make a statement by NOT using their lingo, and yet they are stubbornly well-taught to “train the public” about their naming convention.

    I’m so relieved that someone is choosing intuition over branding.