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Visual Effects of Variety and Area Saliency on Food Product Volume Estimates

Kinard, Brian R., Kinard, Jerry L.
Journal of food products marketing 2016 v.22 no.1 pp. 89-99
colored varieties, foods, marketing
This paper aims to assess the combined effects of variety and area saliency on consumer estimates of product volume. In the first of two studies, we examine the effect of color variety on perceived quantity estimates of cereal in a bowl. In addition, this study was designed to determine if the saliency of the area occupied by the cereal in the bowl moderates any effect of color variety. The second study utilizes a matching task to determine if product variety and area saliency cause consumers to pour more cereal into bowls due to perceptual errors in volume estimation. Findings reveal that consumers use visual cues of area saliency first when approximating quantity. When area saliency cues are removed, consumers base quantity approximations on visual cues provided by product variety. This suggests that container design plays an important role in perceived quantity expectations by moderating the influence of perceived variety.