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If I can taste it, I want it...: sensory marketing in grocery retail stores
Örebro University, School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Meal Science.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Avhandlingen syftar till att undersöka hur man kan utveckla ett kognitivt baserat sensoriskt språk för olika produkter i detaljhandel och därefter använda det i marknadsföringen i butiksledet. Vidare undersökts om denna marknadsföring har någon effekt på konsumenternas val av produkt. Inom forskningsprocessen, tvärvetenskapligprocess, används metodik och teorier inom sensorik, lingvistik (semantik) och marknadsföring (konsumentbeteende).

I en sensorisk studie jämfördes en tränad sensorisk panel och en grupp konsumenters förmåga att beskriva och analysera olika produkters sensoriska egenskaper. Resultatet visade på att de två gruppernas beskrivningar av de olika produkterna var relativt överensstämmande. Att beskriva smak verbalt anses som relativt svårt och komplext. Baserat på det sensoriska resultatet analyserades egenskapsorden ytterligare utifrån ett lingvistiskt perspektiv, semantik. Den semantiska analysen, empiriska resultat och teori, påvisade en möjlighet att utvinna värdefulla attribut från mer diffusa attribut, t.ex. ”nötig smak” – som kan härledas från sort, e.g. ”mandel” som i sin tur innefattar olika egenskaper i form a smak, doft, textur etc.

För att ta reda på om de sensoriska beskrivningarna hade någon effekt på konsumenternas beteende och val i butik genomfördes två empiriska studier. Konsumenternas val av produkt i butik studerades utifrån olika variabler; sensoriska beskrivningar, sensoriska och semantiska beskrivningar, sortnamn, pris, och smak preferens. Resultatet visade att de sensoriska beskrivningarna påverkade konsumenternas val av produkt, t.ex. när bara sort namn kommunicerades var man benägen att välja en känd sort, men när man använde sig av sensoriska beskrivningar skiftade konsumenternas val och de var inte längre styrda av det mer välkända sortnamnet.

Vidare visade det sig att konsumenterna vara mindre priskänslig när sensoriska beskrivningar visades. Konklusion: Användningen av ett sensoriskt språk i marknadsföringen av de undersökta livsmedlen påverkade konsumenternas val av produkt i butik samt att konsumenterna tenderade till att vara mindre priskänslig när sensoriska beskrivningar användes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2011. , 58 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Culinary Arts and Meal Science, ISSN 1652-2974 ; 9
Keyword [sv]
detaljhandel, konsumentbeteende, marknadsföring, reklam, semantik, sensorik, sensoriska beskrivningar
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Culinary Arts and Meal Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-16370ISBN: 978-91-7668-804-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-16370DiVA: diva2:431207
Public defence
2011-09-23, Gastronomiska teatern, Måltidens hus, Grythyttan, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
Denna avhandling är ett resultat av ett forskningsprojekt med arbetstiteln ”Det sensoriska språket-ett marknadsföringsverktyg” vars syfte var att utveckla ett sen­soriska språk för frukt och grönsaker för att se om detta språk i marknads­föringen kan påverka konsumenternas preferens, val, av olika livsmedel i detaljhandeln. Forskningsprojektet var ett samarbetsprojekt mellan Örebro universitet, Restaurang- och hotellhögskolan, Grythytte Akademi och ICA Sverige AB med delfinansiering av Kunskaps & Kompetensstiftelsen. Forskargruppen bestod av: Professor emerita Inga-Britt Gustafsson, Örebro universitet Docent Åsa Öström, Örebro universitet Professor Lena Mossberg, Handelshögskolan i Göteborg Fil.Dr. Ulf Larsson, Örebro universitet Lisbeth Kohls, ICA Sverige ABAvailable from: 2011-07-18 Created: 2011-07-18 Last updated: 2011-10-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Sensory and semantic language model for red apples
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sensory and semantic language model for red apples
2010 (Swedish)In: Journal of sensory studies, ISSN 0887-8250, E-ISSN 1745-459X, Vol. 25, no 4, 591-615 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study (1) examines the sensory attributes of a large group of red apples and compares consumer perceptions of them with those of a trained sensory panel; and (2) uses a sensory semantic frame classification to analyze the vocabulary used. Descriptive analysis was carried out with the trained panel, while a simplified version of the repertory grid method was used for one-to-one interviews with consumers. The perceptions expressed by the consumers correlated quite well with the terminology used by the trained panel, and the two groups used many identical words when describing the apples' texture, flavor and taste according to partial least squares regression. A sensory semantic frame was constructed based on the vocabulary used by the two groups. The combination of sensory and semantic analysis could be one way of extracting valuable words for use in contexts such as product description for marketing purposes in retail stores.

National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Culinary Arts and Meal Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-12426 (URN)10.1111/j.1745-459X.2010.00296.x (DOI)
Available from: 2010-11-09 Created: 2010-11-09 Last updated: 2011-10-28Bibliographically approved
2. Green frames: a semantic study in the lexicon of babyleaf salad
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Green frames: a semantic study in the lexicon of babyleaf salad
2011 (English)In: Studia Neophilologica, ISSN 0039-3274, Vol. 83, no 2, 149-168 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How do we communicate a sensory experience of food? For example, we most probably would describe the sensory experience of a food product as “It was good, I liked it”, but would probably not be able to describe the sensory characteristics of the various products with some precision. It seems that sensory aspects vary in how difficult they are to express verbally (Engen 1991); we do not use the same degree of precision of taste, smell and texture as we do to vision (Meilgaard et al. 2006). It has been argued that perceptual descriptions of colours and odours are based on different organizational principles (Richardson and Zucco 1989). Colours seem to involve a lexical system that is organized in memory, while odour perception is characterized by flexibility and adaptability but with a nonverbal coding system (Engen 1987). About 400,000 odorous substances exist, and it is not clear how many of these are similar or how many classes there might be (Engen 1982). Thus, to characterize the perceived odour and flavour (in which odour is involved) is a complex task (Amerine et al. 1965). The human being is equipped with mechanisms that could guarantee that we, to some extent, perceive the same thing with our “higher” senses, vision and audition. But the “lower” senses in the oro-nasal cavity do not function with the same accuracy when it comes to how we perceive things – they rely more on learning, memories and experiences (Köster 2003). Other circumstances such as gender and age could of course also affect the ability to detect and identify different sensory properties (Richardson and Zucco 1989). Without a description of the sensory qualities, the individual profiles of the item in question could not be captured.

From a linguistic point of view, sensory studies seem to include many aspects highly relevant to different linguistic areas. Since sensory descriptions of food mainly operate with words, such as crisp, tender and nutty, including their conceptual content, lexical and cognitive semantics seem to be a fruitful approach to studying and developing sensory descriptions. But in spite of the central role of the lexicon in describing sensory qualities of food, surprisingly little attention has been paid to linguistic aspects of sensory language, which may be due to the fact that sensory studies and linguistics belong to different academic disciplines. Briefly, in sensory studies, some guidelines are usually used for words and definitions, e.g. the ISO standard and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) Noble et al. (1987) created a system for aromatic flavour for wine arranged in a partly taxonomic and semantic domain-based wheel, i.e. rather general semantic domains such as “fruity” and “nutty”. The specific-general dimension in the wheel is obvious; the general “fruity” leads to the more specific “berry” and “strawberry” in the outer tier of the wheel. More recently Pickering and Demiglio (2008) used the same model for a white wine’s mouthfeel. There are a large number of studies where sensory vocabularies are discussed and developed; some recent examples are Duffrin and Pomper (2006), Carunchia Whetstine et al. (2007), Hongsoongnern and Chambers (2008) and Civille et al. (2010) regarding pawpaw fruit puree, Cheddar cheese, tomatoes and almonds respectively. However inspiring and important in sensory studies and marketing, these works are not always very systematic from a linguistic point of view. Several of the studies mentioned above use a wheel model to categorize the sensory descriptors, but as may be seen in for example Duffrin and Pomper (2006), the wheel form can make the semantic subcategorization tricky; in this “pawpaw fruit puree sensory wheel”, the words are not categorized at all except their grouping into different sensory dimensions such as texture, flavour etc. Besides, the wheel form seems to be best suited for one sensory dimension at a time, as may be seen in for example the wine aroma wheel of Noble et al. (1987). In this wheel, though, the word groups are sometimes a bit fuzzy semantically; for example, olives, asparagus and green beans are grouped together as a subcategory of “canned/cooked”, and the taxonomies are often asymmetrical in that the same word is sometimes used on several levels (for example “nutty” and “floral”, which both occupy two levels in the wheel), while the corresponding levels in other sectors show specification (“fruity” and on the next level “tropical fruit”). It may be assumed that a cross-disciplinary meeting between sensory studies and linguistics could provide interesting views leading to expanded awareness of the importance of semantics in the future development of different sensory vocabularies, as shown in a study by Swahn et al. (2010).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2011
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Food Science
Research subject
Household Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-16656 (URN)10.1080/00393274.2011.603905 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-08-30 Created: 2011-08-30 Last updated: 2012-01-10Bibliographically approved
3. Sensory description labels for food affect consumer product choice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sensory description labels for food affect consumer product choice
2012 (English)In: European Journal of Marketing, ISSN 0309-0566, Vol. 46, no 11/12, 1628-1646 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - This observational study set out to investigate the effect of sensory description labels on consumer choice of apples in a grocery retail store.

Design/methodology/approach - An independent observation study was conducted in a retail grocery store setting. A total of 1623 consumers were observed over a four day period in four different sessions, each using three apple varieties (JONAGOLD, INGRID MARIE, and ELISE). Marketing strategies differed between the sessions as follows: (1) sort name labelling only, (2) sort name and sensory description labelling, (3) sort name and sensory semantic description labelling, and (4) sort name labelling and allowing consumers to taste the apples before choosing.

Findings - Consumer product choice was affected by the sensory description labels. When only the sort name was given on the label, the consumers tended to choose INGRID MARIE, which has a strong sort name. With the addition of sensory description labels, the consumer choice shifted to ELISE, which had been chosen with a low frequency when only sort name was given, but was chosen with a high frequency when sensory description labelling was used.

Research limitations/implications - The study was limited to red apples and one national market.

Practical implications - Practitioners, managers, and marketers may benefit from using proper sensory labelling as a marketing tool for various food products, such as a apples, in a grocery retail store.

Originality/value - This study shows the importance and value of sensory description label marketing for food products in grocery retail stores. Little attention has previously been paid to the research area within sensory marketing communication concerning the interplay of sensory perception of food and the formulation of marketing labels, or taste marketing. This paper also addresses the possible interaction between the disciplines of sensory and marketing science

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald, 2012
Keyword
Labelling, decision making, sensory description, food, grocery retail store, preference
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Culinary Arts and Meal Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-16657 (URN)10.1108/03090561211260013 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-08-30 Created: 2011-08-30 Last updated: 2012-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Different sensory marketing cues affect consumers’ food choice behaviour
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Different sensory marketing cues affect consumers’ food choice behaviour
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

By combining different methods and theories from sensory analysis and consumer behaviour, we investigated consumer choice of food products in a grocery retail store according to different sensory marketing cues across three observational experiments. Depending on the specific experiment in which they participated, consumers made their choice based on visual appearance, taste, and price; or descriptive labels, taste, and price. When presented with the opportunity to taste the products and examine their prices, the consumers were less likely to change their minds after making their initial choice if this choice was made on the basis of sensory description labels. Consumers were less price sensitive when sensory description labels were used. Our results reveal some practical implications for how to use a sensory language for food products as a marketing tool, and how to combine the research disciplines of sensory analysis and consumer behaviour.

National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Research subject
Household Science; Culinary Arts and Meal Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-16658 (URN)
Available from: 2011-08-30 Created: 2011-08-30 Last updated: 2012-12-14Bibliographically approved

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