Taste perceptions mediate the effect of a health goal on food choice

Marija Banovic*, Jessica Aschemann-Witzel, Rosires Deliza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Although considerable research has been done on the role of a health goal in food choices, little effort is devoted to the contexts intervening between the health goal and choices and its relationship with taste and price in the congruent non-conflicting versus the incongruent conflicting choice context. The present research experimentally examined through an online study, with 1303 participants, the process through which the health goal affects food choices taking into account both the congruent non-conflicting and the incongruent conflicting choice contexts. Furthermore, the study examined whether the impact of the health goal on these choices would be mediated by taste perceptions evoked by the products’ imagery. Results show that when the health goal is activated in a non-conflicting (vs. conflicting) choice context, the consumers are more likely to choose more expensive (vs. cheaper) products. The consumers’ expected product taste further mediate this effect of the health goal on the product choice, where a non-conflicting (vs. conflicting) choice-set additionally intensifies the consumers’ taste perceptions, producing a congruent healthy – tasty relationship. These findings suggest that the health goals do not always invoke incongruence with taste, at least in the context of products perceived as naturally healthy. For a broader market, this effect could actually be a blessing in disguise, where health-related communication efforts effectively inducing congruence with taste, would be more capable of catering the consumers’ food choices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104305
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume94
Number of pages6
ISSN0950-3293
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Choice
  • Consumer
  • Fish
  • Health goal
  • Price perceptions
  • Taste perceptions

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