A Method to Measure the Effect of Food Appearance Factors on Children’s Visual Preferences

Heidi Kildegaard, Annemarie Olsen, Gorm Gabrielsen, Annette Kistrup Thybo

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The aim of the study was to examine children’s visual preferences for two food products; yoghurts and smoothies, by using a conjoint layout. In total, 274 children performed an incomplete ranking of 8 pictures formed by three factors each with two levels (23 design). The three food appearance factors were ‘colour’, ‘visible fruit’ and ‘portion size’. The children were segmented into one of eight groups given by 2 (grade) × 2 (urban/rural affiliation) × 2 (time of visit), and they completed questionnaires regarding background information. Finally, an actual product choice was performed for the eight smoothies.

The children visually preferred the two products without visible fruit and colour had a large influence on visual preferences too. As regards the yoghurts, the children accepted a less simple variant whereas the most preferred smoothie was very simple. Significant synergetic effects between food appearance factors and segmentation factors were found. Additionally gender and ethnicity were found to be influential drivers for food choice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)763-771
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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