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Consumer perceptions of indulgence: A case study with cookies

AuthorsTárrega, Amparo ; Marcano, Johanna; Fiszman, Susana
Projective mapping
Eating motivation
Eating occasion
Issue Date3-Jul-2017
CitationFood Quality and Preference 62: 80-89 (2017)
AbstractFood indulgence has been widely studied in psychology and related sciences. However, how it is perceived by consumers has rarely been examined in the field of Food Science. This paper presents a case study with 17 different types of cookies. Two different exploratory studies were performed with two groups of consumers. In the first, 90 consumers performed projective mappings, placing the samples according to the similarities or differences they found a) based on the packaging alone and b) based on tasting alone (the tasks were performed one month apart). The consumers were also asked to describe the single packages/cookies and groups of packages/cookies on the map. The maps obtained from the packaging and tasting tasks were fairly similar, indicating that in general the images, information, and package design raised expectations that were confirmed upon tasting the cookies. Qualitative analysis of the terms used to describe the maps of the two scenarios showed that chocolate (dark or milk) and type of cookie were the principal classification factors, while less or no importance was placed on energy content or uses. Consequently, in the second study 8 of the initial 17 cookies were selected as representing the 8 cookie types detected through separate hierarchical clustering analyses of the results from the package and cookie scenarios. A group of 100 consumers tasted each type of cookie, scored them on “acceptability,” “perceived healthiness,” and “familiarity,” and answered a CATA questionnaire listing eating motivations and occasions.
Publisher version (URL)The authors are grateful to the Spanish Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness for financial support (AGL-2016-75403-R and RTC-2015-3757-2) and for the Ramon y Cajal contract of Dr. Tarrega, and gratefully acknowledge the financial support of EU FEDER funds.
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