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Why The Brands On Your Chips And Salsa Probably Match

What's the Latest Development?

A report in the Journal of Consumer Research reveals that consumers tend to buy matching brands for foods that are designed to be eaten together, like tortilla chips and salsa, because "matching labels [encourage them] to believe that the products were tested and designed to go well together." Two studies were conducted in which subjects were given chips and salsa with fictional brand names that were mixed and matched. In one of the studies, subjects were also told one of two things: that the fictional brand teams had coordinated on either research and design or that they had worked together on a different non-taste-related matter, such as distribution.

What's the Big Idea?

In most cases, the subjects enjoyed the chips and salsa more when they believed they were from the same brand. The one exception was when subjects were told that the two fictional brand teams had conducted joint research and design: "Both groups enjoyed the [foods] more...regardless of the brands they were told they were consuming." For companies, the conclusion is obvious, according to the report's authors: "A company that offers products that are consumed together will have an advantage over other rival brands that do not offer both individual products."

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