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What is more effective : implicit or explicit product cues? An experimental study into the effects of colour saturation and the type of label on the perceived healthiness and taste liking of the consumer.

Louwes, S. (2020) What is more effective : implicit or explicit product cues? An experimental study into the effects of colour saturation and the type of label on the perceived healthiness and taste liking of the consumer.

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Abstract:This research focusses on how to influence healthy food choices by means of product packaging. Package design raises certain expectations about the product because consumers base product inferences on multiple packaging cues. Knowledge of how the interaction between implicit and explicit packaging cues affects product inferences helps in the understanding of consumers’ food choices. Also, it remains unclear how consumers will react to the interaction of these cues when there is a possibility to taste the product. Therefore, the aim of this study is to experimentally investigate the interaction effect of colour saturation and type of label on the perceived healthiness and the taste liking of the consumer, including a taste test. Additionally, the moderating effect of general health interest is tested. An experimental 2 (the level of colour saturation: high vs. low) x 3 (the type of label: hedonic vs. health vs. control) between-subjects factorial design was conducted among 162 participants. The respondents were exposed to one of the six conditions. Findings of this study show a significant effect of colour saturation on perceived healthiness. High colour saturation results in a lower perceived healthiness and low colour saturation results in a higher perceived healthiness. No significant effects were found between colour saturation on taste liking. Also, the expected interaction effect of colour saturation and the type of label on perceived healthiness was not found. These results are not in line with the Cue Consistency Theory, stating that if product cues are congruent both cues will be used in the product evaluation. Additionally, a trend effect was found between the interaction of colour saturation and general health interest on perceived healthiness. Lastly, no mediation effect of perceived healthiness on taste liking was found.This research shows that packaging cues such as colour saturation can influence the perceived healthiness of the consumer. If package designers want to communicate the healthiness of the product, a low saturated colour would be a better choice. It seems that a healthy product package does not affect the taste liking negatively. Perceptions about healthy products not being tasty become less effective when there is the possibility to taste the product. Package designers need to keep in mind that food choices are complex behaviours that are influenced by many interacting factors.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/80502
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