Development of a consumer-led emotion lexicon for meat and plant-based burger patties using digitally recreated eating contexts

The decision to consume novel foods such as plant-based meat alternatives is often determined by emotional response. Generic food emotion lexicons are available for measuring emotional response, however, such lexicons may not capture the nuanced emotions associated with novel products. Here, an emotion lexicon specific to meat and plant-based burger patties was developed. Discussion groups, where participants were digitally immersed in two typical burger eating environments, were used to generate relevant emotion terms toward different patties. A range of consumers contributed to the lexicon including users and nonusers of meat alternatives, two age groups, and three dietary groups. Subsequently, an on-line sorting task followed by hierarchical clustering was used to reduce the size of the lexicon. The final lexicon contained 24 emotion categories. The lexicon shared terms with generic lexicons but notably contained other emotions associated with food neophobia, uncertainty, and deception. Practical Applications: The results of this study provide an emotion lexicon specific to burger patties of meat and plant-based origins. Currently no emotion lexicon has been developed for plant-based patties, or plant-based meat alternatives in general. It provides an important tool for further research concerning links between sensory and emotional drivers of plant-based patty consumption across different types of patty consumers and has potential to be adopted for a wider product set.
© 2023 The Authors 2023
Journal of Sensory Studies, 2023