As a practicing designer I worked in "structural package design," i.e. bottles. I had zero leeway in volume control; if I was tasked to CAD up a 500mL bottle, the internal displacement had to be precisely 500mL up to the fill line. And the folks in Marketing often determined the height of the bottle (to stand taller than the competitors on the store shelves), reducing my options further.
My question is for those of you with flatware design experience. Are you allowed to determine the diameters and volumes of plates and bowls, or is that Marketing- or BOM-dictated? I ask because if you can, you are essentially controlling how much food people might consume by providing physical boundaries.
I ask this because it's come out that wine glasses have been steadily growing in volume for the past 300 years, going from about 66mL to a whopping 449mL. That's a factor of seven.
Then Then Then Then NOW
According to The Guardian the discovery was made a Behavior and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge, who have been studying and measuring the volume of wine glasses from the 1700s up to the present day. That 18th-Century wine glasses were smaller doesn't surprise me; I imagine manufacturing limitations at the time meant small glasses were easier to produce. But nearly half a liter of rotgut in a single glass sounds like a bit much to me; who is behind this decision? Designers? Marketers? Manufacturers?
Or maybe booze manufacturers. As you'd expect, increasing the size of the glass means people drink more--even when the serving portions are kept the same:
Prof Theresa Marteau, director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge, who led the research…and her colleagues carried out an experiment at the Pint Shop in Cambridge, altering the size of wine glasses while keeping the serving sizes the same. They found this led to an almost 10% increase in sales.
The Guardian puts forth a less nefarious theory about who's behind the size increase:
The Wine and Spirits Trade Association said sociological trends were probably part of the reason for the growing wine glasses.
"The size of a wine glass reflects the trend and fashions of the time and is often larger for practical reasons" said the WSTA chief executive Miles Beale. "Red wine, for example, is served in a larger glass to allow it to breathe, something which perhaps wasn't a priority 300 years ago."