Can a dietitian, restaurateur, marketer, or parent change the perceived taste of a food simply by changing its name? In a six-week cafeteria experiment involving 140 customers, those who ate foods with evocative, descriptive menu names (such as “Succulent Italian Seafood Filet”) generated a larger number of positive comments about the food and rated it as more appealing, tasty, and caloric than those eating regularly-named counterparts (e.g., “Seafood Filet”). The open-ended comments indicated that their evaluations were assimilated with prior taste expectations in a manner that is more deliberate and less automatic than most research typically claims. For practioners, the use of descriptive names may help improve perceptions of foods in institutional settings, and it may help facilitate the introduction of unfamiliar foods.
Food Quality and Preference – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2005
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