Health messaging alone is not an adequate driver of consumer choice; thus, it is important for marketers to complement health-related information about fruits and vegetables.
This research asks how marketers can change messaging to fit how people already feel and want to feel when they eat on different occasions. Consumers’ subconscious associations with foods, including fruits and vegetables, were measured using implicit association testing. Correlational analyses were used to investigate how these associations relate to food preferences on different eating occasions.
Findings reveal six broad experiential association categories, grounded in emotional and sensory experiences, that are drivers of preference. Furthermore, eight key eating occasions or demand spaces are identified, most of which are associated with unique experiential association drivers. Results indicate that marketers, agencies, health professionals, government agencies and advocates interested in promoting produce consumption need to attend to the underlying experiences people are looking for when eating in different contexts, and how produce can fit those needs.
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