1 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Management - MAPP - Centre for Research on Value Creation in the Food Sector, Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 unknown4 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
The role of cognitive mediation
New product concepts are routinely tested by showing members of the target group verbal and/or pictorial descriptions of new products and measuring reactions like overall liking and purchase intention. However, little is known about the processes leading to consumer acceptance or rejection of new product concepts. We develop a new form of concept test that, employing structural equation modelling, allows us to trace how different elements of the concept description contribute to acceptance or rejection of the concept, either cognitively mediated by triggering expectations about product quality and convenience, or without cognitive mediation (see figure). Using examples of new pork-based product concepts and data from four countries (Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, UK), we elaborate on the role of these two routes towards new product acceptance. We propose that the increased role of storytelling in the launch of new food products makes the non-cognitively mediated route towards acceptance more important, and suggest that the Food Kansei approach may be a good source of inspiration for understanding consumer acceptance of new food products.