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Using CATA tests to capture consumers’ mental representations elicited by images of pulse-based food products with different levels of processing

Abstract : Consumption of pulses plays a key role in achieving a healthier and more sustainable diet. Despite the increased availability of pulse-based foods on the French market, pulse consumption in France remains below recommended levels. The objective of this study was to capture French consumers' mental representations of various pulse-based foods with different levels of processing, using a Check-All-That-Apply (CATA) questionnaire with food images. We used CATA questionnaires, in two separate studies, to capture two aspects: consumers' beliefs about the products presented in the study, and the characteristics of those products, according to consumers. In Study 1, twelve images of pulses were presented (unprocessed, processed, and ready-to-eat) to investigate whether and how consumers differentiate between pulse-based products with different recipes and levels of processing. In Study 2, parallel CATA questionnaires were used: one with images of pulse-based products, and one with images of vegetables. We wanted to discover whether the factors underlying different representations for pulse-based products were specific to pulses, or were also observed with another family of food products. Results showed that products were differentiated more by their level of processing than by their main ingredient. Participants had more positive attitudes toward pulse products that were unprocessed, processed, or "new ready-to-eat", than toward other ready-to-eat pulse products (whether canned or frozen). Our results also highlighted that, in consumers' mental representations of pulse-based products, packaging format is a negligible factor in comparison with the nature of the product itself.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 6, 2022 - 9:10:53 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 3:56:05 PM

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Juliana Melendrez-Ruiz, Stephanie Chambaron, Erick Saldaña, Sandrine Monnery-Patris, Gaëlle Arvisenet. Using CATA tests to capture consumers’ mental representations elicited by images of pulse-based food products with different levels of processing. Appetite, Elsevier, 2022, 170, pp.105887. ⟨10.1016/j.appet.2021.105887⟩. ⟨hal-03513882⟩

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