Anticipation of Future Variety Reduces Satiation from Current Experiences

Anticipation of Future Variety Reduces Satiation from Current Experiences
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Key Takeaways

​Anticipating future consumption influences satiation from a present experience.

People will satiate slower from a present experience when they know that in the future they will be consuming something different.

However, when the future consumption experience is undesirable, satiation from present experiences belonging to the same consumption domain will occur faster.

People start preconsuming the future in the present. They incorporate aspects of the future experience into their enjoyment of the present one.

​Article Snapshot​s: Executive Summaries from the Journal of Marketing Research​​​​​​

This research demonstrates that the act of anticipating what one will be consuming in the future in a given consumption domain influences satiation from a current experience.


We know that consuming more variety in the present leads to slower satiation. But we wanted to know if merely anticipating future variety while keeping the present constant would have a similar effect—that is, slowing down current satiation without changing the actual consumption experience. We hypothesize that anticipating future variety leads to less satiation in the present as long as this variety is at least equally liked.


We studied undergraduate students in laboratory experimental designs and tested our hypotheses through real-life consumption of candy and music clips.


We find that anticipating variety leads to reduced satiation in the present. This occurs when the future variety belongs to the same consumption domain and when this is at least equally liked as the present variety. The opposite occurs when future variety is highly disliked; that is, satiation occurs faster. We demonstrated this effect across both food consumption and music domains.


  1. We can enjoy the present more if we set ourselves up with varied future experiences by prepurchasing or buying vacations and other desirable products ahead of time.

  2. Wholesalers should avoid selling single-flavor products in bulk. This leads to potentially fewer sales in the future because the items will be enjoyed less in the present. They should also advertise the benefits of prepurchasing and booking vacations ahead of time. This improves the overall experience by allowing the consumer to start enjoying themselves and their purchase ahead of time..

Questions for the Classroom

  • Do we enjoy consuming a product more in the present if we are able to anticipate that in the future we will be consuming something different in that product category?)

  • What is the effect that selling varied or single-flavor products in bulk has on future purchases for retailers like Costco?

  • Should we buy condos and other products on presale and vacations several months ahead of time so that our enjoyment of our present experiences is higher?

Article Citation

Julio Sevilla, Jiao Zhang, and Barbara E. Kahn (2016), “Anticipation of Future Variety Reduces Satiation from Current Experiences,” Journal of Marketing Research, 53 (6), 954-968.

Julio Sevilla is Assistant Professor of Marketing, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia (e-mail:

Jiao Zhang is Assistant Professor of Marketing, Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon (e-mail:

Barbara E. Kahn is Patty and Jay H. Baker Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (e-mail:

Author Bio:

Anticipation of Future Variety Reduces Satiation from Current Experiences
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