Event Title

The Influence of Gourmet, Nostalgic, and Health Conscious Wording on College Students

Location

FA 202

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Food descriptions provide important information to consumers and influence their eating choices. The current study will manipulate the wording of a food description to either have a gourmet, health or nostalgic focus and then determine which has the most influence on the desirability ratings of food. Gourmet meals have become more popular, not only because they often taste better, but it has allowed people to control their ingredients. Furthermore, the concept of gourmet food allows food to become an “experience” and not “just” a meal. Previous studies have shown that health food labeling nudges consumers towards healthier food options ( Fisher, 2018). The significance of nostalgia is that it gives a feeling of safety and security, and is reminiscent of childhood memories and comforts (Collins, 2013). In the current study, the influence of word choices (gourmet, nostalgic, or healthy) on food evaluation will be examined. Participants will be given a picture of a meal followed by a description with varying word choices related to gourmet-ness (e.g. luxurious, rich), health (e.g. low calorie, organic) or nostalgia (warm, comforting). Participants will then be asked to complete a survey regarding their perceived value and appeal of the food. Demographic questions such as gender, race/ethnicity will also be asked. The data will be analyzed with a one-way ANOVA (type of wording: gourmet, health, and nostalgia) on aggregated food appeal ratings. Expected results are that college students will highly prefer food that is reminiscent of their family, because people are inclined to familiar food from the past (Autio et al., 2013). Gourmet descriptions are expected to be the second most appealing because although subjectionally desireable, quality is objective to consumers (Cardello, 1995). Finally, health descriptions should be rated as least appealing to participants because the health aspect is believed to be related to a decrease of indulgent and taste ratings (Turnwalf et al., 2017). The research is significant because of the effect wording has on consumers and has implications for advertising and marketing of food products.

Faculty Sponsor

Amanda Dykema-Engblade, Northeastern Illinois University

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May 6th, 10:40 AM

The Influence of Gourmet, Nostalgic, and Health Conscious Wording on College Students

FA 202

Food descriptions provide important information to consumers and influence their eating choices. The current study will manipulate the wording of a food description to either have a gourmet, health or nostalgic focus and then determine which has the most influence on the desirability ratings of food. Gourmet meals have become more popular, not only because they often taste better, but it has allowed people to control their ingredients. Furthermore, the concept of gourmet food allows food to become an “experience” and not “just” a meal. Previous studies have shown that health food labeling nudges consumers towards healthier food options ( Fisher, 2018). The significance of nostalgia is that it gives a feeling of safety and security, and is reminiscent of childhood memories and comforts (Collins, 2013). In the current study, the influence of word choices (gourmet, nostalgic, or healthy) on food evaluation will be examined. Participants will be given a picture of a meal followed by a description with varying word choices related to gourmet-ness (e.g. luxurious, rich), health (e.g. low calorie, organic) or nostalgia (warm, comforting). Participants will then be asked to complete a survey regarding their perceived value and appeal of the food. Demographic questions such as gender, race/ethnicity will also be asked. The data will be analyzed with a one-way ANOVA (type of wording: gourmet, health, and nostalgia) on aggregated food appeal ratings. Expected results are that college students will highly prefer food that is reminiscent of their family, because people are inclined to familiar food from the past (Autio et al., 2013). Gourmet descriptions are expected to be the second most appealing because although subjectionally desireable, quality is objective to consumers (Cardello, 1995). Finally, health descriptions should be rated as least appealing to participants because the health aspect is believed to be related to a decrease of indulgent and taste ratings (Turnwalf et al., 2017). The research is significant because of the effect wording has on consumers and has implications for advertising and marketing of food products.