New research has revealed how producers of food could alter the surface texture of food products to make a change in the perception of people and encourage healthy eating. Dr Cathrine Jansson-Boyd from Anglia Ruskin University led the study. She is a consumer psychologist. The study examined the perceptions of people for identical biscuits but with six different textures for those biscuits.
More Attractive Food Texture Induces Willingness to Buy
Earlier studies reveal that labeling, the texture of plate or cup, and packaging are capable of changing the perceptions of people. The new research looks at how a food item can be seen and understood differently, depending on its looks.
Oat biscuits were selected as they are both “unhealthy” and “healthy”. The research discovered that texture of the surface of oat biscuits clearly pointed the healthy quotient. The participants quickly accepted the idea that oat biscuits are a healthy option.
However, the biscuits with less texture on the surface considered to be crunchier, tastier. The chances of their buy high. The study suggests perceived tastiness of a food product increases as the healthiness of the same product decreases. Besides, the probability of purchasing a biscuit increases with perceived health benefits. The relation between the perception of healthiness and probability of purchase is an inversely proportional one.
On the contrary, healthy looking texture carries negative perception of taste. Manufacturers of food products need to keep this criterion in mind during the production of varieties of food items, such as biscuits.
Reader in Psychology, Dr Jansson-Boyd from Anglia Ruskin University said that the findings are quite interesting and provide manufacturers with a medium that they could keep in mind while designing food for consumers who want healthier or tastier food options.
The study has been published in Food Quality and Preference, a scientific journal covering topics of sensory and consumer science. The study comprised 88 people who rated six oat biscuits based on their perception of tastiness and likelihood of purchase or no purchase.