It is well known that the evaluation of a product from the shelf considers the simultaneous cerebral and emotional evaluation of the different qualities of the product such as its colour, the eventual images shown, and the envelope's texture (hereafter all included in the term “product experience”). However, the measurement of cerebral and emotional reactions during the interaction with food products has not been investigated in depth in specialized literature. The aim of this paper was to investigate such reactions by the EEG and the autonomic activities, as elicited by the cross-sensory interaction (sight and touch) across several different products. In addition, we investigated whether (i) the brand (Major Brand or Private Label), (ii) the familiarity (Foreign or Local Brand), and (iii) the hedonic value of products (Comfort Food or Daily Food) influenced the reaction of a group of volunteers during their interaction with the products. Results showed statistically significantly higher tendency of cerebral approach (as indexed by EEG frontal alpha asymmetry) in response to comfort food during the visual exploration and the visual and tactile exploration phases. Furthermore, for the same index, a higher tendency of approach has been found toward foreign food products in comparison with local food products during the visual and tactile exploration phase. Finally, the same comparison performed on a different index (EEG frontal theta) showed higher mental effort during the interaction with foreign products during the visual exploration and the visual and tactile exploration phases. Results from the present study could deepen the knowledge on the neurophysiological response to food products characterized by different nature in terms of hedonic value familiarity; moreover, they could have implications for food marketers and finally lead to further study on how people make food choices through the interactions with their commercial envelope.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science(all)