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Open AccessArticle

Understanding the Terminology for Snack Foods and Their Texture by Consumers in Four Languages: A Qualitative Study

Center for Sensory Analysis and Consumer Behavior, Kansas State University, 1310 Research Park Dr., Ice Hall, Manhattan, KS 66502, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2019, 8(10), 484;
Received: 15 September 2019 / Revised: 7 October 2019 / Accepted: 10 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sensory and Consumer Sciences)
The choice of food products is affected by the combination of food properties, consumer motives, emotions, and context, especially in cross-cultural studies. The designs of cross-cultural studies involve several limitations such as conceptual perception and linguistic and cultural differences in response style. These factors confine the validity and generalizability of such study models. In this study, we have combined linguistic and contextual perception together to generate consumer texture terminologies. Four focus groups discussions were conducted with consumers from nine different countries in English, Hindi, Mandarin, and Spanish. Vocabularies for sixteen texture terms were generated. Consumers provided a single consensus term that they typically use to describe contextual sensory perception. The results show that consumers use several terms to describe texture, and terms are very specific to product and related perception. The English translation of words like “snack”, “texture”, and other sensory texture terms are meaningless for non-English speaking cultures. Researchers are encouraged to validate (test) the structure of cross-cultural study models before application. Practical application: The findings of this study present a model which can be utilized to conduct cross-cultural research studies. The results can contribute to generate accurate consumer responses, acceptance, preference, and addressing consumers concerns. Food industries could leverage these by using our methodology in product development, finding consumer insights, effective communication, and products testing in international settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: lexicon; texture; consumer; snack; cross-cultural; descriptive; sensory lexicon; texture; consumer; snack; cross-cultural; descriptive; sensory
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kumar, R.; Chambers, E., IV. Understanding the Terminology for Snack Foods and Their Texture by Consumers in Four Languages: A Qualitative Study. Foods 2019, 8, 484.

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