Food Quality and Preference
In an increasingly obesogenic food environment, making healthful food decisions can be difficult. Because consumers are often bombarded with excessive information about foods they often rely on simple heuristics to decide whether to purchase or consume a food. In the present study we tested females who were either restrained (n = 33) or unrestrained (n = 33) to determine whether their sensory perception and intake of a food would be affected by brand information. Participants were provided with in an ad libitum snack of cookies which was labeled with a brand typically associated with healthful snacks or a brand associated with unhealthful snacks. Results indicated that all participants rated the cookies with the healthful brand label as more satisfying and as having a better taste and flavor. Furthermore, restrained eaters consumed more of the healthful brand than the unhealthful brand, whereas unrestrained eaters’ consumption did not differ. Thus it appears that food-related beliefs do influence consumers’ intake, especially that of restrained eaters. Further research is warranted to investigate these beliefs in order to improve recommendations for healthful eating in a society facing an increased prevalence of overeating and obesity.
Cavanagh, Kevin V. and Forestell, Catherine A., The Effect of Brand Names on Flavor Perception and Consumption in Restrained and Unrestrained Eaters (2013). Food Quality and Preference, 28(2), 505-509.