Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Foods for health promotion: consumer expectations/acceptance

The project enhances understanding and achievement of short-term and long-term consumer acceptance of commercial food products which can specifically contribute to meeting current dietary goals. The focus is on consumer and food characteristics associated with the selection, continued acceptance, and dietary implications of a range of nutritionally modified alternatives to traditional foods and ingredients.

Studies on consumer information, expectations and acceptance are showing how the presence of different types of information influences ratings for acceptance and future purchase intent. It is apparent that the provision of product information influences consumer expectations and judgements of the sensory attributes and acceptability of foods, and this seems likely to have important implications for product promotion. Characterization of individual consumers is important, given the wide variation in attitudes towards foods, and increasingly diverse concerns and interests relating to the sensory and health aspects of alternative products. However, there are few properly validated instruments available for assessing these individual differences. Within the project, there has been extensive development and validation of scales and methods of analysis which can be applied to quantify consumer orientation toward the sensory ('taste'), perceived healthiness and other food attributes influencing choices. Consumer decision-making is being assessed by conjoint analysis, an efficient method of gathering data which can be used to identify consumer groupings and their different preferences for particular combinations of product attributes, including sensory and nutritional characteristics. Studies on hunger and satiety have focused on the potential influences of changing food composition on appetite and food intake in different consumer groups. Longer-term trials are exploring determinants of acceptance of traditional and modified foods, considering interactions of extended use and experience with consumer attitudes, and product type and information.

Contact

David MELA
Tel.: +44-118-9357000
Fax: +44-118-9267917
E-mail
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