Advertising serves two main purposes: it shapes our tastes and makes us aware of potential purchases along with their prices. In my intro to economics class room we typically assume people know where to purchase things. Additionally, we do not normally address the potential of companies to impact our preferences (or tastes). I guess not surprisingly, McDonalds has seemed to impact children as young as 3-5’s taste. According to a resent study by Thomas Robinson from Stanford, children that age when presented with the same foods (burgers, fries, chicken nuggets, carrots, and milk) in different wrappers one featuring a McDonalds logo and one with no logo they preferred the McDonald logo food. The first three items were purchased at McDonalds and the last two purchased at a local supper market. It is worth noting the tests were done on a total of 63 children in a low income head start program that is predominantly Hispanic. Interesting results, but I wish the sample size was a little larger, for what should not be a terribly difficult experiment to replicate if you have a room full of hungry preschoolers!
Link to the study:
Link to an article in Forbes about the Study: