Incongruent consumption environments negatively affect hedonic food expectations and reduce liking consistency over time

G. van Bergen, E.H. Zandstra, D. Kaneko, G.B. Dijksterhuis, R.A. de Wijk

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterProfessional


Sushi at the beach: The effects of congruent and incongruent immersive contexts on food evaluations
Background: previous studies showed very few effects of consumption context (laboratory, immersive- and real-life context) on repeated food evaluations when only location was varied and other variables such as the social context were kept minimal. The present study explores the effect of repeated exposure to foods in immersive contexts that are either congruent or incongruent with specific food products on food evaluations.
Methods: two groups of participants (N=23 and 18) were exposed repeatedly in seven sessions to three test foods (sushi, popsicle, ice tea) in either a simulated beach or sushi restaurant context. These contexts were switched in the eighth and final session. Aspects of perception and the appreciation of the foods were measured before the exposure (in session 1), and after the exposure in either the same (session 7) or in a different context (session 8).
Results: the results showed that (expected) liking, desire to eat and sensory attribute ratings varied with the type of immersive context, whereby congruent food-context combinations, such as popsicle at the beach and sushi in the restaurant, triggered more positive hedonic responses before tasting and more stable hedonic responses after tasting than incongruent combinations. Other context effects were not food-specific: foods consumed in the restaurant tended to taste more sweet and sour than the same foods consumed at the beach. Also, desire to eat was in general lower in the restaurant compared to the beach. Some of the effects persisted after the context switch in the eight session (food still tasted sweet in the restaurant when repeatedly consumed at the beach), other effects were affected by the location (desire to eat sushi). Conclusion: the results demonstrate that 1) consumption contexts need to be taken into account in consumer tests, and 2) immersive (simulated context) technologies may be a viable tool for consumer research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
EventEUROSENSE 2020 - Online
Duration: 13 Dec 202016 Dec 2020


ConferenceEUROSENSE 2020
Internet address


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