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Do Extra Ingredients on the Package Lead to Extra Calorie Estimates?

Zhu, Guowei, Chryssochoidis, George, Zhou, Li (2019) Do Extra Ingredients on the Package Lead to Extra Calorie Estimates? European Journal of Marketing, 53 (11). pp. 2293-2321. ISSN 0309-0566. (doi:10.1108/EJM-11-2017-0856) (KAR id:71584)


Purpose: Food industry marketers proliferate their product ranges and enhance product appearance by adding extra ingredients to food bases. This work provides empirical evidence that some of these decisions lead to inconsistency in consumer calorie estimates for the new augmented packaged food products. These have substantial implications for both marketing decision-making and food policy. Design/methodology/approach: The three performed experiments and Anova analyses demonstrate an underlying psychological mechanism, explained below. Findings: Results show that the healthiness of the added food ingredient (AFI) does not matter if the food base is healthy, and consumers' calorie estimates of the augmented packaged food product are accurate. When, however, the food base is unhealthy, and the AFI is healthy, consumers underestimate the new product calories. This underestimation effect increases further when the healthy ingredients multiply. This underestimation effect endures when these ingredients are presented in visual form, but it disappears when these ingredients are presented in verbal form. Originality/value: Our work offers three major original and valuable contributions. It explains the effects of AFIs on calorie estimation and consumer healthiness perceptions in a context not studied before, namely packaged food products. Next, it advances the literature on consumer judgment error and heuristics concerning product package attributes. Since adding ingredients is integral to product line extension decisions, our results also clarify how marketing can safeguard firm social responsibility in combating obesity.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/EJM-11-2017-0856
Uncontrolled keywords: Added Food Ingredients; Heuristics; Packaging; Calorie Estimation; Food Consumption
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5415 Marketing
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Funders: [37325] UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: George Chryssochoidis
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2019 11:53 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 19:06 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Chryssochoidis, George.

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