Impact of reducing fat, salt and sugar in commercial foods on consumer acceptability and willingness to pay in real tasting conditions: A home experiment

Abstract : Decreasing obesity or cardiovascular disease can be achieved by eating healthier foods with reduced contents of fat, salt and sugar. However, these ingredients have a significant impact on the sensory quality of the food products that contain these ingredients, especially cooked sausage, chorizo, dry sausage, cheese and muffins. In this study, consumer appreciation of these five commercialized products (non reformulated versions) and their respective reformulated versions with reduced contents of salt, fat and sugar was tested. An original home experiment was performed to assess consumer appreciation in natural consumption conditions. The experiment was divided into two steps that correspond to a pleasantness rating and a willingness to pay task. The two measurements were expected to yield comparable results with two aspects of consumer appreciation. Non-reformulated and reformulated versions were compared with a store brand and a trademark in a ranking task to evaluate their pleasantness positioning on the market. This latter experiment, which was conducted in a laboratory, enabled the validation of the home experiment. The results indicated that the cooked sausage reformulation did not maintain consumer appreciation and reduced its positioning on the market. For cheese and muffins, the reformulation did not affect the product pleasantness. The reformulation of dry sausage and chorizo not only maintained consumer appreciation but also increased pleasantness, which was consistent with a higher reservation price of approximately 12% compared to the other samples. For most products in this experiment, new technologies contributed to significant reduction in fat, salt or sugar whilst maintaining consumer appreciation.
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Sébastien Romagny, Emilie Ginon, Christian Salles. Impact of reducing fat, salt and sugar in commercial foods on consumer acceptability and willingness to pay in real tasting conditions: A home experiment. Food Quality and Preference, Elsevier, 2017, 56, Part A, pp.164-172. 〈http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0950329316302154〉. 〈10.1016/j.foodqual.2016.10.009〉. 〈hal-01430152〉

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