Special Issue "Consumer Preference and Acceptance of Food Products"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Sensory and Consumer Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2020).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Derek V. Byrne
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Guest Editor
Food Quality Perception and Society, iSenseLab, Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Agro Food Park 48, DK-8200 Aarhus, Denmark
Interests: sensory science; consumer science; food and beverage product quality; nutrition and eating; multisensory effects; crossmodal interactions; sensory methods; food uniqueness
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Acceptance and preference of the sensory properties of foods are among the most important criteria determining food choice. Sensory perception and our response to food products and finally food choice itself are affected by a myriad of intrinsic as well as extrinsic food factors. There is much empirical research showcasing the effect that our senses have on our perception, affective response to food products and our food choices. This effect of the senses is of course affected both by intrinsic food product factors as well as extrinsic (non-food) factors.

The big question regards how these factors specifically affect our acceptance and preference for foods, both in and of themselves and in combination in various contexts, both fundamental and applied. In addition, there is the question of which factors overall play the largest role in how we perceive and behave towards food in daily life. Finally, there is the question of how these factors can be utilized to affect our preferences and final acceptance of real food and food products from industrial production and beyond for healthier eating. We are interested in many aspects in this field, but specifically in the determination of factors, fundamental interactions, and crossmodal effects in different contexts and eating scenarios, and depending on cultural differences. We are also interested in studies that utilize unique study design approaches and methodologies. Both research papers and review articles are welcome in this Special Issue of Foods.

Prof. Dr. Derek V. Byrne

Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • food acceptance
  • food preference
  • consumer
  • sensory perception
  • food choice

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Current Trends in Multidisciplinary Approaches to Understanding Consumer Preference and Acceptance of Food Products
Foods 2020, 9(10), 1380; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9101380 - 29 Sep 2020
Abstract
Acceptance and preference of the sensory properties of foods are among the most important criteria determining food choice. Sensory perception and our response to food products and finally food choice itself are affected by a myriad of intrinsic as well as extrinsic factors. [...] Read more.
Acceptance and preference of the sensory properties of foods are among the most important criteria determining food choice. Sensory perception and our response to food products and finally food choice itself are affected by a myriad of intrinsic as well as extrinsic factors. The pressing question is, how do these factors specifically affect our acceptance and preference for foods, both in and of themselves, and in combination in various contexts, both fundamental and applied? In addition, which factors overall play the largest role in how we perceive and behave towards food in daily life? Finally, how can these factors be utilized to affect our preferences and final acceptance of real food and food products from industrial production and beyond for healthier eating? A closer look at trends in research showcasing the influence that these factors and our senses have on our perception and affective response to food products and our food choices is timely. Thus, in this Special Issue collection “Consumer Preferences and Acceptance of Food Products”, we bring together articles which encompass the wide scope of multidisciplinary research in the space related to the determination of key factors involved linked to fundamental interactions, cross-modal effects in different contexts and eating scenarios, as well as studies that utilize unique study design approaches and methodologies. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
When A Combination of Nudges Decreases Sustainable Food Choices Out-of-Home—The Example of Food Decoys and Descriptive Name Labels
Foods 2020, 9(5), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9050557 - 02 May 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper reports results from three consecutive studies focusing on the comparison of the effectiveness of different nudges and their combinations to increase sustainable food choices out of the home. The nudges compared are the use of descriptive name labels (DNLs) for the [...] Read more.
This paper reports results from three consecutive studies focusing on the comparison of the effectiveness of different nudges and their combinations to increase sustainable food choices out of the home. The nudges compared are the use of descriptive name labels (DNLs) for the most sustainable dish of a choice set (menu) and the decoy effect (DE), created by adding a less attractive decoy dish to a more attractive target dish with the goal of increasing the choice frequency of the target dish. In the literature, both nudges have been found to influence consumers’ choices. In the first study, six category names of sustainability indicators were deduced from a focus group. These were tested with 100 students to identify the most attractive DNLs. Study II, a randomized choice study (n = 420), tested the DE, the DNLs and a combination of the DNLs and the DE used on four different dishes in a university canteen. In study III, 820 guests of a business canteen voted during four weeks for the special meals of the following week (identical to the four choice sets displayed in study II). Results indicate that the combination of DNLs and the DE is not recommended for fostering sustainable food choices. Pure DNLs were more efficient in increasing the choice frequency of the more sustainable meal, whereas the decoy effect resulted in decreased choice frequencies. Regional and sustainable DNLs were favoured by consumers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Influencing Purchase Intention for Low-Sodium and Low-Sugar Products
Foods 2020, 9(3), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9030351 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
As sodium and sugar intake in South Korea exceed recommended levels, the government and food industry have been attempting to reduce the amount of sodium and sugar in the food products. In line with these efforts, this study sought to examine how the [...] Read more.
As sodium and sugar intake in South Korea exceed recommended levels, the government and food industry have been attempting to reduce the amount of sodium and sugar in the food products. In line with these efforts, this study sought to examine how the purchase intention for low-sodium/low-sugar products vary based on consumers’ previous choices of low-sodium/low-sugar products and other consumer-related factors. For this study, two online survey-based experiments were conducted: one using soy sauce to represent a sodium-based product and the other using yogurt to represent a sugar-based product. The significant variables that influenced the purchase intention for both were the consumers’ previous low-sodium/low-sugar product choices and their propensity for food neophobia. Consumers who had previously selected regular products showed a lower intention to purchase low-sodium soy sauce or low-sugar yogurt. In addition, those who had a strong tendency toward food neophobia also had a significantly lower purchase intention for these products. Moreover, the lower the consumer′s unhealthy = tasty intuition (UTI), the higher the purchase intention for the low-sodium soy sauce, but UTI did not act as a significant variable for the low-sugar yogurt. These results demonstrate that government interventions for low-sodium products and low-sugar products should be differentiated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Analysis of Marketing Factors Influencing Consumers’ Preferences and Acceptance of Organic Food Products—Recommendations for the Optimization of the Offer in a Developing Market
Foods 2020, 9(3), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9030259 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Considering the benefits of the organic production system, it is recognized as one of the main drivers of future economic development. However, the imbalance between demand and supply at the local market level represents one of the serious obstacles that prevents its future [...] Read more.
Considering the benefits of the organic production system, it is recognized as one of the main drivers of future economic development. However, the imbalance between demand and supply at the local market level represents one of the serious obstacles that prevents its future growth. Therefore, this article examines the key factors related to the main elements of the offer that have the strongest impact on consumer preferences and acceptance of organic food products. In that sense, organic product, price, distribution channel, and promotion are considered the main elements of the offer and are analyzed in this paper from the consumer preferences perspective. Further, this article provides insight into some of the sensory properties of the offer that are important to consumers. Finally, it gives recommendations for optimization of the offer on the organic food market based on the analysis of the influence of each of those elements (product, price, distribution, and promotion) on consumer acceptance of organic products and making purchasing decisions. The data were collected using a questionnaire, and analyzed using the structural equation model (SEM). The results revealed that price and promotion have the strongest impact on consumer acceptance and buying decisions. Further analysis revealed that attitudes towards organic food products, price/quality ratio, distribution barriers, and modern media as a promotion instrument are the factors that have the most significant impact on consumer perception and attitudes towards the available market offer. These findings can help producers and other decision makers to better understand what creates added value of the organic food products in consumers’ mind and therefore make an offer that is in line with their expectations and preferences, which is recognized as one of the main prerequisites for the acceptance and purchase of organic food products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Individual Differences in Sweetness Ratings and Cross-Modal Aroma-Taste Interactions
Foods 2020, 9(2), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9020146 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Aroma-taste interactions, which are believed to occur due to previous coexposure (concurrent presence of aroma and taste), have been suggested as a strategy to aid sugar reduction in food and beverages. However, coexposures might be influenced by individual differences. We therefore hypothesized that [...] Read more.
Aroma-taste interactions, which are believed to occur due to previous coexposure (concurrent presence of aroma and taste), have been suggested as a strategy to aid sugar reduction in food and beverages. However, coexposures might be influenced by individual differences. We therefore hypothesized that aroma-taste interactions vary across individuals. The present study investigated how individual differences (gender, age, and sweet liker status) influenced the effect of aroma on sweetness intensity among young adults. An initial screening of five aromas, all congruent with sweet taste, for their sweetness enhancing effect was carried out using descriptive analysis. Among the aromas tested, vanilla was found most promising for its sweet enhancing effects and was therefore tested across three sucrose concentrations by 129 young adults. Among the subjects tested, females were found to be more susceptible to the sweetness enhancing effect of vanilla aroma than males. For males, the addition of vanilla aroma increased the sweet taste ratings significantly for the 22–25-year-olds, but not the 19–21-year-olds. Consumers were clustered according to their sweet liker status based on their liking for the samples. Although sweet taste ratings were found to vary with the sweet liker status, aroma enhanced the sweetness ratings similarly across clusters. These results call for more targeted product development in order to aid sugar reduction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Trust in Explaining Food Choice: Combining Choice Experiment and Attribute Best–Worst Scaling
Foods 2020, 9(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010045 - 03 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper presents empirical findings from a combination of two elicitation techniques—discrete choice experiment (DCE) and best–worst scaling (BWS)—to provide information about the role of consumers’ trust in food choice decisions in the case of credence attributes. The analysis was based on a [...] Read more.
This paper presents empirical findings from a combination of two elicitation techniques—discrete choice experiment (DCE) and best–worst scaling (BWS)—to provide information about the role of consumers’ trust in food choice decisions in the case of credence attributes. The analysis was based on a sample of 459 Taiwanese consumers and focuses on red sweet peppers. DCE data were examined using latent class analysis to investigate the importance and the utility different consumer segments attach to the production method, country of origin, and chemical residue testing. The relevance of attitudinal and trust-based items was identified by BWS using a hierarchical Bayesian mixed logit model and was aggregated to five latent components by means of principal component analysis. Applying a multinomial logit model, participants’ latent class membership (obtained from DCE data) was regressed on the identified attitudinal and trust components, as well as demographic information. Results of the DCE latent class analysis for the product attributes show that four segments may be distinguished. Linking the DCE with the attitudinal dimensions reveals that consumers’ attitude and trust significantly explain class membership and therefore, consumers’ preferences for different credence attributes. Based on our results, we derive recommendations for industry and policy. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Influence of the Brewing Temperature on the Taste of Espresso
Foods 2020, 9(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010036 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Very hot (>65 °C) beverages such as espresso have been evaluated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as probably carcinogenic to humans. For this reason, research into lowering beverage temperature without compromising its quality or taste is important. For espresso, [...] Read more.
Very hot (>65 °C) beverages such as espresso have been evaluated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as probably carcinogenic to humans. For this reason, research into lowering beverage temperature without compromising its quality or taste is important. For espresso, one obvious possibility consists in lowering the brewing temperature. In two sensory trials using the ISO 4120:2004 triangle test methodology, brewing temperatures of 80 °C vs. 128 °C and 80 °C vs. 93 °C were compared. Most tasters were unable to distinguish between 80 °C and 93 °C. The results of these pilot experiments prove the possibility of decreasing the health hazards of very hot beverages by lower brewing temperatures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Influencing Consumers’ Perceptions of Food: A Study of Apple Juice Using Sensory and Visual Attention Methods
Foods 2019, 8(11), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8110545 - 03 Nov 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of intrinsic product characteristics and extrinsic packaging-related factors on the food quality perception. Sensory and visual attention methods were used to study how consumers perceive the quality of commercial apple juices from four [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of intrinsic product characteristics and extrinsic packaging-related factors on the food quality perception. Sensory and visual attention methods were used to study how consumers perceive the quality of commercial apple juices from four product categories: clear juices from concentrate, cloudy juices from concentrate, pasteurized cloudy juices not from concentrate, and fresh juices. Laboratory tests included the assessment of sensory liking in blind and informed conditions and expected liking based on packages only. The results showed that brand and package information have a large impact on consumers’ sensory perceptions and generate high sensory expectations. An innovative visual attention tracking technique was used in online experiments to identify packages and label areas on individual packages, which attracted consumer attention. During an online shelf test, consumers mostly focused on not from concentrate juices from local producers, which were perceived as more natural, healthy, and expensive than juices reconstituted from concentrate. When individual labels were analyzed, consumers predominantly focused on nutritional data, brand name, and information about the type of product. The present results confirm a large impact of information and visual stimuli related to packaging on product perception. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Sleep Curtailment on Hedonic Responses to Liquid and Solid Food
Foods 2019, 8(10), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8100465 - 10 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
It is currently unclear whether changes in sweet taste perception of model systems after sleep curtailment extend to complex food matrices. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to use a novel solid oat-based food (crisps) and oat-based beverage stimulus sweetened with [...] Read more.
It is currently unclear whether changes in sweet taste perception of model systems after sleep curtailment extend to complex food matrices. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to use a novel solid oat-based food (crisps) and oat-based beverage stimulus sweetened with sucralose to assess changes in taste perception after sleep curtailment. Forty-one participants recorded a habitual and curtailed night of sleep using a single-channel electroencephalograph. The next morning, overall sweetness, flavor, and texture liking responses to energy- and nutrient-matched oat products across five concentrations of sweetness were measured. Overall (p = 0.047) and flavor (p = 0.017) liking slopes across measured concentrations were steeper after curtailment, suggesting that sweeter versions of the oat products were liked more after sleep curtailment. Additionally, a hierarchical cluster analysis was used to classify sweet likers and non-likers. While the effect of sleep curtailment on sweet liking did not differ between sweet liking classification categories, sleep curtailment resulted in decreased texture liking in the solid oat crisps for sweet non-likers (p < 0.001), but not in the oat beverage. These findings illustrate the varied effects of sleep on hedonic response in complex food matrices and possible mechanisms by which insufficient sleep can lead to sensory-moderated increases in energy intake. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Dynamic Changes in Post-Ingestive Sensations after Consumption of a Breakfast Meal High in Protein or Carbohydrate
Foods 2019, 8(9), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8090413 - 14 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The obesity epidemic urges exploration of several parameters that play an important role in our eating behaviours. Post-ingestive sensations can provide a more comprehensive picture of the eating experience than mere satiety measurements. This study aimed to (1) quantify the dynamics of different [...] Read more.
The obesity epidemic urges exploration of several parameters that play an important role in our eating behaviours. Post-ingestive sensations can provide a more comprehensive picture of the eating experience than mere satiety measurements. This study aimed to (1) quantify the dynamics of different post-ingestive sensations after food intake and (2) study the effect of protein and carbohydrate on hedonic and post-ingestive responses. Forty-eight participants (mean age 20.4) were served a breakfast meal high in protein (HighPRO) or high in carbohydrate (HighCHO) on two separate days using a randomised controlled crossover design. Post-ingestive sensations were measured every 30 min, for 3 h post intake using visual analogue scale (VAS). Results showed a significant main effect of time for all post-ingestive sensations. HighCHO induced higher hedonic responses compared to HighPRO, as well as higher ratings for post-ingestive sensations such as Satisfaction, Food joy, Overall wellbeing and Fullness. HighPRO, on the other hand, induced higher ratings for Sweet desire post intake. The development of sensations after a meal might be important for consumers’ following food choices and for extra calorie intake. More detailed knowledge in this area could elucidate aspects of overeating and obesity. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Consumer Preference Heterogeneity Evaluation in Fruit and Vegetable Purchasing Decisions Using the Best–Worst Approach
Foods 2019, 8(7), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8070266 - 18 Jul 2019
Cited by 18
Abstract
This study assesses consumer preferences during fruit and vegetable (FV) sales, considering the sociodemographic variables of individuals together with their choice of point of purchase. A choice experiment was conducted in two metropolitan areas in Northwest Italy. A total of 1170 consumers were [...] Read more.
This study assesses consumer preferences during fruit and vegetable (FV) sales, considering the sociodemographic variables of individuals together with their choice of point of purchase. A choice experiment was conducted in two metropolitan areas in Northwest Italy. A total of 1170 consumers were interviewed at different FV purchase points (mass retail chains and open-air markets) using a paper questionnaire. The relative importance assigned by consumers to 12 fruit and vegetable product attributes, including both intrinsic and extrinsic quality cues, was assessed by using the best–worst scaling (BWS) methodology. The BWS results showed that “origin”, “seasonality”, and “freshness” were the most preferred attributes that Italian consumers took into account for purchases, while no importance was given to “organic certification”, “variety”, or “brand”. Additionally, a latent class analysis was employed to divide the total sample into five different clusters of consumers, characterized by the same preferences related to FV attributes. Each group of individuals is described on the basis of sociodemographic variables and by the declared fruit and vegetable point of purchase. This research demonstrates that age, average annual income, and families with children are all discriminating factors that influence consumer preference and behavior, in addition to affecting which point of purchase the consumer prefers to acquire FV products from. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Role of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Sensory Factors in Sweetness Perception of Food and Beverages: A Review
Foods 2019, 8(6), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8060211 - 14 Jun 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
When it comes to eating and drinking, multiple factors from diverse sensory modalities have been shown to influence multisensory flavour perception and liking. These factors have heretofore been strictly divided into either those that are intrinsic to the food itself (e.g., food colour, [...] Read more.
When it comes to eating and drinking, multiple factors from diverse sensory modalities have been shown to influence multisensory flavour perception and liking. These factors have heretofore been strictly divided into either those that are intrinsic to the food itself (e.g., food colour, aroma, texture), or those that are extrinsic to it (e.g., related to the packaging, receptacle or external environment). Given the obvious public health need for sugar reduction, the present review aims to compare the relative influences of product-intrinsic and product-extrinsic factors on the perception of sweetness. Evidence of intrinsic and extrinsic sensory influences on sweetness are reviewed. Thereafter, we take a cognitive neuroscience perspective and evaluate how differences may occur in the way that food-intrinsic and extrinsic information become integrated with sweetness perception. Based on recent neuroscientific evidence, we propose a new framework of multisensory flavour integration focusing not on the food-intrinsic/extrinsic divide, but rather on whether the sensory information is perceived to originate from within or outside the body. This framework leads to a discussion on the combinability of intrinsic and extrinsic influences, where we refer to some existing examples and address potential theoretical limitations. To conclude, we provide recommendations to those in the food industry and propose directions for future research relating to the need for long-term studies and understanding of individual differences. Full article
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