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Aurora Saulo (Dept. of Tropical Plants and Soil Sciences) and co-authors recently published a peer-reviewed article, “Linking Food Endorsement Labels & Messaging to Perceived Price and Emotions: A Mind Genomics® Exploration,” in the journal Advanced Nutrition and Food Science.
In the study, respondents evaluated “vignettes,” combinations of food product logos and messages. Messaging elements included that the foods were local, sustainably grown/organic, religiously certified (halal/kosher), hand-crafted/homemade, or gourmet/artisanal. The Mind Genomics approach allowed each respondent to evaluate a unique set of combinations, rating them in terms of the emotion they felt after reading the vignette and the price they considered appropriate to pay. The experimental design uncovered the relation between the presence/absence of specific logo and messaging elements and both the selected price and linkage to positive and negative emotions.
The application of Mind Genomics to any aspect of everyday life expands many types of scientific studies. However, in this case the authors concluded that the use of this approach did not generally produce clear segmentation when the respondent made a judgment of price or emotion. A clear distinction did emerge between those who followed religious food strictures, though. Those who followed halal standards were willing to pay much more for halal food that had labels stressing the Muslin Qur’anic origin of the stricture than kosher eaters were to buy kosher food that stressed the basis for kashrut in the Torah. In terms of other elements, women perceived organic foods as more valuable than men did, while men were willing to pay more for convenience.