Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 539339
Title Hot or not? Conveying sensory information on food packaging through the spiciness-shape correspondence
Author(s) Gil-Pérez, Ignacio; Rebollar, Rubén; Lidón, Iván; Martín, Javier; Trijp, Hans C.M. van; Piqueras-Fiszman, Betina
Source Food Quality and Preference 71 (2019). - ISSN 0950-3293 - p. 197 - 208.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2018.07.009
Department(s) Marketing and Consumer Behaviour
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Categorisation - Expectations - Implicit measures - Packaging design - Semiotics
Abstract

The packaging of a product is a key element in the communication between producers and consumers, so getting the consumer to interpret the packaging visual signs in the desired way is crucial to be successful in the marketplace. However, this is not easy as images can be ambiguous and may be interpreted in different ways. For example, depicting an icon of fire on the front of a bag of nuts may lead the consumer to interpret either that the nuts are spicy or that the nuts have been roasted. This paper addresses this problem and, using this case as an example, assesses if the interpretation of a fire icon (spicy vs roasted) can be modulated by manipulating its shape (angular vs rounded). 66 participants carried out an experiment which results show that there is a crossmodal correspondence between spiciness and pointy shapes and that this association can be used to modulate sensory expectations: in a speeded classification task, the bags of nuts depicting pointy fire icons were categorised more quickly as being spicy than as being roasted, while the opposite was true for the bags of nuts displaying rounded fire icons. In addition, the results of a mediation analysis suggest that this effect occurs indirectly through affective appraisal: the pointy fire icons were judged as being more aggressive than the rounded fire icons, which in turn raised spiciness expectations. These findings contribute to the research on crossmodal correspondences and semiotics by showing that the association between spiciness and abstract shapes can be used to modulate how people interpret an ambiguous image.

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