Affective Response of Adolescents toward Fruit- and Vegetable-Based Snacks and the Role of Neophobia, Gender and Age


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Adolescents' (n = 278, 10–16 years old) affective response toward snack combinations prepared based on four approaches was studied: (1) combining one or more colors in a snack; (2) adding energy-dense food sources to an energy low vegetable snack; (3) combining fruits and vegetables with savory and sweet snack products; and (4) creating surprising snack combinations by adding sensory sensations not anticipated from visual cues. The effect of neophobia, gender and age on response toward the snack combinations and difference between expected liking and actual liking was investigated. The only approach, which was proven partly successful, was adding energy-dense food sources to an energy low vegetable snack. Otherwise, the pure fruit or vegetable combinations received the highest affective responses. Effects of neophobia and gender on the affective response were found. Expected liking was rated higher than actual liking except for snack combinations prepared based on approach 4.

Practical Applications

This paper describes adolescents' affective response toward fruit- and vegetable-based snack combinations prepared as examples of four different approaches. The results show an effect of gender and level of neophobia on adolescents' affective response toward the snacks. These results are important as they show the importance of tailoring snacks to different groups of adolescents as these might have different acceptances for fruit- and vegetable-based snacks.