How to make healthy food more attractive: The expected effect of language and food type on purchase intention and expected rewardHow to make healthy food more attractive: The expected effect of language and food type on purchase intention and expected reward.
Living a healthy lifestyle is important for many but making healthy food choices remains difficult. Language plays an important role in food choice, because people’s intuition that unhealthy food is tastier than healthy food is mediated through language and communication (Raghunathan et al., 2006). The goal of this study was to research whether there was an effect of different language use on the expected reward and purchase intention of food. Previous research found that different types of language (healthy, neutral, indulgent) on food labels and menus affected food choice, and the current study investigated if this finding could be extended to a social media advertisement setting. An online questionnaire was conducted where participants were shown one of the three sets of six advertisements for six different meals: three healthy meals and three unhealthy meals. Each meal received either an indulgently framed, healthily framed, or neutrally framed description. There were no effects of language on either purchase intention or expected reward. Desire for unhealthy food was higher than for healthy food, but the amount participants were willing to spend on a meal was higher for healthy food compared to unhealthy food. There was also a positive correlation between expected reward and purchase intention. The expected reward increased when the purchase intention increased. This study does not provide evidence that language affects the purchase intention or expected reward of healthy food on Instagram.
Faculteit der Letteren