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Abstract

Trivial or irrelevant attributes are defined as attributes that do not create a meaningful difference in a brand’s performance. The objective of this paper is to determine if and how trivial attributes affect consumers in their choice of variety/brands of food products including frozen green beans, orange juice, canola oil, and frosted strawberry toaster pastries. Sixty subjects participated in the experiment. Subjects understood that trivial attributes are less important than substantive attributes. Substantive (important) quality attributes and economic variables affecting choice were all perceived equal across brands by the subjects in the experiment. Two critical driving forces in determining the presence and direction of the effect of a trivial attribute on the consumer choice are the size of the choice set and the type of trivial attribute, i.e., product versus promotional attribute.

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