University of Twente Student Theses


The weight of taste : an experimental study on the influence of visual heaviness on consumer responses for soft drink packages

Aydogdu, F. (2020) The weight of taste : an experimental study on the influence of visual heaviness on consumer responses for soft drink packages.

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Abstract:Consumers are exposed to a variety of brands in supermarkets, all with packaging characteristics that try to communicate their benefits and product qualities. One of the essential determinants in the customer decision-making is the taste of a particular product. However, there are no possibilities to experience this at the point of purchase, as a consequence, consumers use packages to infer the product characteristics. Studies show that visual characteristics of packages can communicate weight features and that this, in turn, influences consumer responses. This study aimed to examine whether visual heaviness, communicated through visual dynamism and visual positioning on the package, influences consumer responses for light and regular soft drinks. This study uses a 2 (dynamic visual vs static visual) x 2 (positioning on top vs positioning on the bottom) x 2 (light soft drink vs regular soft drink) experimental research design to research the various conditions. The study is a between-subjects research, and all the participants were randomly assigned to one of the eight experimental conditions (N = 240). The consumer responses in this study are taste experience, including basic taste evaluations, taste intensity, taste naturalness, nutritional value, and taste liking. The other consumer responses are package attractiveness and purchase intention. Participants of this research were approached in the hallway of a shopping mall and tasted the soft drink. After that, the respondents evaluated the package, which was demonstrated on an a4-display and filled out an online questionnaire. The results demonstrated that heaviness by a static visual had a direct positive impact on the taste intensity. Whereas, lightness by dynamic visuals had a direct positive influence on taste naturalness, nutritional value, taste liking, package attractiveness, and purchase intention. By contrast, heaviness cues by visual positions positively affected the nutritional value of the drink. Moreover, interaction effects were found for bottom positions and regular drinks for taste intensity. Also, three-way interactions were found for the congruent combination communicating lightness by a dynamic visual positioned on the top of the package for a light drink on the package attractiveness and purchase intention. Whereas, the incongruent combinations for the regular drink with a dynamic visual positioned on the bottom of the package had a greater effect on package attractiveness and purchase intention. This study proves that lightness by dynamism in visuals can influence consumer responses, by contrast, limited effects are visible for visual positions as weight cues. The results of this research contribute to the field of research in packaging design by highlighting the effects of visual dynamism and visual positions as cues for visual heaviness and its effects on consumer responses. Besides, this study provides practical implications for marketers as it is possible to communicate product benefits through the use of dynamic visuals and visual positions.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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