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 540884
Title What do you mean by hot? Assessing the associations raised by the visual depiction of an image of fire on food packaging
Author(s) Gil-Pérez, Ignacio; Rebollar, Rubén; Lidón, Iván; Piqueras-Fiszman, Betina; Trijp, Hans C.M. van
Source Food Quality and Preference 71 (2019). - ISSN 0950-3293 - p. 384 - 394.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2018.08.015
Department(s) Marketing and Consumer Behaviour
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Categorisation - Congruency - Expectations - Metaphors - Semiotics
Abstract

The images shown on food packaging play an important role in the processes of identification, categorisation and the generation of expectations, since the consumer uses the images to infer information about the product. However, a given image may convey different meanings (e.g. in a food package, “fire” may mean barbecued or spicy), so it is very important for producers and designers to understand the factors responsible for consumers inferring a specific meaning. This paper addresses this problem and shows experimentally that the consumer tends to infer the meaning from the image which is most congruent with the product it is displayed with. 65 participants carried out two speeded classification tasks which results show an interaction between the product (congruent vs. incongruent) and the image (with fire vs. without fire): products congruent with a meaning of fire were categorised more quickly when shown with fire than without it, while products incongruent with a meaning of fire were categorised more slowly when shown with fire than without it. In addition, the results show that stimuli were categorised more quickly when the interpretation of fire was literal (e.g. barbecue) than in those that were metaphorical (e.g. spiciness), indicating that the rhetorical style of the image (literal or metaphorical) influences the cognitive effort required to process it. These contributions improve our understanding of the effect of the images shown on packaging in the communication between packaging and consumers.

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