Emotions associated to mealtimes: Memorable meals and typical evening meals

B. Piqueras Fiszman, S.R. Jaeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This research contributes to the current interest in food-related emotions in eating occasions. Previous research has studied contextual influences on food-related emotions, but the food products used as stimuli were single food items (i.e., chocolate brownie, fruit, potato crisps) and not meals. In addition, the contexts were established and evoked by the researchers. The present work combines and extends previous approaches by focusing on the emotions associated with past real-life memorable meals as experienced by consumers. To further explore the relationship between meal emotions, memorability, and contextual dimensions, this work aimed to: (1) compare emotions associated to a memorable meal, as opposed to a routine meal occasion (typical evening meal); (2) establish relationships between emotion associations and the contextual factors of a memorable meal; and (3) explain heterogeneity in emotions associated to memorable and typical meals in terms of personal characteristics (gender, age, emotional intensity, and private body consciousness). Through online surveys with 1358 adult British participants, emotions associated with memorable meals were found to be more positive than negative; and more positive than those associated with a typical evening meal. Contextual characteristics of memorable meals exerted many influences on the emotional associations, and seemed to contribute the most in making that meal occasion memorable. On average, men and older consumers had more positive emotional associations, which may be related to life experiences and gender roles. Participants who scored higher on the positive scale of the emotional intensity questionnaire (EIS-R POS) had on average more positive emotional associations than those with lower scores on this personality trait, whereas respondents' Private Body Consciousness scale scores were in alignment with the intensity ratings for positive and negative emotion terms. Suggestions for future research linked to harnessing the positive experiences of meal time emotions to healthful eating behaviour are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-252
JournalFood Research International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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