The reason I bring this up is because one of the resaurants at the stop (Wendy's) was offering different sized combos. I was thrilled, thinking it would be way less pop and fries for the average consumer. However, I was shocked when the women plopped down what looked like a medium drink cup on my friend's tray. She reassured me this was not the medium. I just had to ask what the large was and she pulled out a cup that reminded me of the big gulp at the 7/11.
So everything had shifted: small was replaced by the medium cup, medium was replaced by the large and large was replaced by the super cup (as I used to call it). The small I was once familiar with was now the "value" size.
I see this happening everywhere, even in Tim Hortons all the cups have shifted up a size. The concern I have is what does this mean for everyone if they keep phasing out old cups and shifting up to bigger ones?
At first people will shift down to the cup they know but as time goes on the baseline of what a size is will shift and people will start to order up. Depending on your size of choice this could mean anywhere from an extra 50 to 200 calories per serving cup.
We can do our best to try to only drink some of the beverage in the cup but research by the famous food researcher Brian Wansik has shown us time and time again that we tend to eat with our eyes and struggle to manage portions when they are so out of whack.
Do you know how large the first standard soda drinks from fast food restaurants were? 7oz.
To date: the small at McDonalds is now 16oz (over double the former drink). These shifts have happened slowly over time but it is happening more and more. All the big brands want to compete and our society seems to be demanding bigger is better.
Just be aware and buy smart. This is another reason I suggest eating at home (unless you just super sized your dishware at home).