Supersizing Small

Small is disappearing. If you order a small coffee in Starbucks, or any of its copy cat formula coffee shops, you’ll get a cup of coffee which in any previous timeframe would have been considered large.

The 1993 introduction of supersizing meals and soft drinks by McDonald’s to boost sales has confused consumer’s understanding of small. As large got larger, small got larger too. At fast food restaurant chain Wendy’s, portions previously considered medium got labelled as small. After the succes of the critical documentary Super Size Me (2003) McDonald’s stopped supersizing its meals but the pressure on small has stayed. Instead of openly supersizing large, companies like Starbucks now covertly supersize small and in the process erase our notion of what small once meant.

The Incredible Shrinking Man intends to remind us of the importance of small and its XL qualities.

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