Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

College/School

College of Education and Human Services

Department/Program

Nutrition and Food Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Charles Feldman

Committee Member

Herbert L. Meiselman

Committee Member

Andrian Kerrihard

Subject(s)

Consumer behavior, Advertising--Psychological aspects, Green tea--Sensory evaluation

Abstract

Introduction The objectives were to assess consumers’ emotional valence in response to drinking canned green tea, and assess effects of brand identification. Corollary objectives were to determine triangulated relationships across qualitative and quantitative approaches. Methods 61 panelists evaluated identical tea samples: 27 were informed of the brand, 34 received tea without branding. Responses of panelists were assessed by self-report with the EsSense25 emotional profile tool, instrumental FaceReader, and qualitative open-ended interviews.

Results For FaceReader (0-1 scale), top mean scores were: Happy (0.98), Surprised (.59) and Disgusted (.50). When controlling for age and gender, branded has a significant positive association with FaceReader Happy (p=.032). The top 3 (Likert 1-5) mean descriptive scores for EsSense25 emotional valences were: Good (3.56), Satisfied (3.47) and Pleasant (3 .42). Strongest significant correlations among EsSense25 and FaceReader were negative associations between FaceReader’s measurement of Happy with the EsSense25 measurements of Aggressive (p=.004), Wild (p=.022), and Worried (p=.030). Five thematic elements uncovered from interviews potentially elucidated quantitative findings; 70% of branded participants recalled Memories (n=19) versus 38% of unbranded participants recalled memories (n=13). The interviews also revealed 64.7% of branded participants associated the product with its Flavor (n=22) versus 67% of branded participants (n=19). Responses from 22% of the branded group addressed canned green tea associations with Cost or pricing (n=6); the unbranded group were excluded from Cost questioning because these participants were blinded from knowing the actual product and had no arbitrary statements about costs recorded from interviews with this group. In Can Imagery, 37% of only the branded group (n=10) commented on the can; non-branded participants were blinded to the green tea product and references about other drinks (not used in the study) were excluded from the imagery theme. One of the interesting qualitative findings was 0% or (n=0) branded group participants mentioned the Health benefits of the product, while 26% of unbranded participants (n=9) mentioned the health benefits of the green tea.

Discussion and Conclusion The results from FaceReader from both branded and unbranded group participants suggest that the visualization of green tea produced ambivalence. FaceReader was able to uncover a significant positive association when controlling for age and gender in the branded group with FaceReader “Happy”. This age and gender group suggests that there is an emotional connection with the flavor and memorable experience that motivates consumers’ choices. The EsSense25 results showed strong positive emotional scores of Good, Satisfied and Pleasant for both groups that they were satisfied with the green tea product as a whole. The significant inverse relationship between FaceReader "Happy” outputs and self-reported outputs of "Aggressive", "Wild", and "Worried" in EsSense25 may provide elucidation of the nuances of the emotional outputs recorded by FaceReader." The qualitative thematic elements demonstrated that nostalgia influences product appreciation; branding, at least in the present study, had no effect on taste other than being (satisfied) overall; the brand product was associated with being cheap; the can affected consumer desire for the product; and only unbranded tea was associated with health.

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