Some insights into the development of food and brand familiarity: The case of soy sauce in the Netherlands

S. Ushiama*, M.H. Vingerhoeds, Mayuko Kanemura, D. Kaneko, R.A. de Wijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

With the increasing globalization, new unfamiliar flavors gradually find their way into local Western cuisines. The mechanisms behind the successful integration of novel flavors into local cuisines are largely unknown. This study investigates the effects of frequency of soy sauce use, levels of food neophobia, and brand specificity on liking of a relatively unknown flavor in the Netherlands, soy sauce. A total of eighty-nine (26 men and 63 women; mean age 47.5 ± 17.7 years) high- and low-frequency users of soy sauce rated liking of five soy sauces separately presented with and without branding information. Liking of four soy sauces with the typical salty and savory flavor increased with increasing frequency of use, and with decreasing levels of food neophobia. Another soy sauce with additives resulting in a distinctive taste was liked irrespective of the frequency of use. Soy sauces, which were recognized correctly or incorrectly as the participants’ own familiar brand, received 50% higher or lower liking ratings than other soy sauces, respectively. Furthermore, users of one of the brands preferred the taste of their own brand over that of other brands, whereas users of the other brands did not show such specificity, indicating clear differences in specificity of liking soy sauce among the various user groups. This study provides insights into consumer liking and preference of semi-familiar foods, revealing the contribution of consumer traits and brand familiarity that may influence the spread of unfamiliar foods.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Research International
Volume142
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Feb 2021

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