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Information about the taste stimulates choice of unfamiliar healthful food products

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Background:  The present study aimed to assess whether taste information about unfamiliar low‐fat and fruit and vegetable products leads to more positive taste expectations and stimulates choice for these products. The impact of level of food neophobia on such effects was studied.

Methods:  The present study had a two (taste information: yes/no) by four (food products: low‐fat cheese/very low‐fat margarine spread/fruit juice/fruit and vegetable juice) between subjects design among a convenience sample of 396 university students. Taste information was delivered by means of a poster providing information on the taste of the offered food product. Primary outcome measurements were taste expectations and product choice. Level of food neophobia, appetite level, mood states, usual intake of fruit, vegetables and fat, and demographics were taken into account as potential confounders.

Results:  Taste information had no effect on taste expectations, although it had a positive effect on choosing unfamiliar healthful products. These effects were not moderated by level of food neophobia.

Conclusions:  Offering taste information on unfamiliar healthful products appears to be a promising strategy for increasing the first‐time trial of such products, independent of the participants’ level of food neophobia.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Health Promotion, NUTRIM School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands 2: EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2011-12-01

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