Katharina studies in how healthy food products can be made attractive by means of packaging cues. Typically, unhealthy food with high contents of fat, sugar, and salt are better liked and therefore more difficult to resist than healthier foods. Based on a grounded cognition perspective, we argue that consumers typically simulate a situated eating experience when perceiving a food item and deciding whether to buy or consume it. In Katharina’s project, we are examining these situated representations and their relation with motivation in more detail. Then, we will use these findings to develop packaging cues that trigger rewarding simulations to increase the motivation toward healthy products. Additionally, the objective of this project is to assess robustness and durability of the effects of these cues embedded in food packaging.
Katharina is based at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and is co-advised by prof. Monique Smeets, dr. Liesbeth Zandstra, and prof. Garmt Dijksterhuis. She graduated from Maastricht University with a MSc in Psychology (cum laude) in August 2012, and started work on her PhD project in April 2014. This research is funded by the NWO Food, Cognition, and Behavior grant NUDGIS.
Contact Katharina here.