In the eye of the beholder: expected and actual liking for apples with visual imperfections

Laura Andreea Bolos, Carl-Johan Lagerkvist, Anne Normann, Karin Wendin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Food appearance is an important determinant for expected and actual liking, but some food is not even availablefor purchase due to visual imperfections. In two studies conducted with 130 participants in Sweden, we measuredconsumers’ expected and actual liking for different apples with three types of visual imperfection (color,shape and damage). We investigated the effects of apples’ visual characteristics on expected liking and whetheror not this relationship is mediated by emotions and attitudes. Secondly, we investigated how actual likingdiffered between the groups of apples, and how it differed from expected liking. Results indicated that attitudesare the strongest mediator between visual characteristics of apples and expected liking. Moreover, participantsindicated higher expected liking for color and shape imperfections relative to damaged apples. Results from thesecond study indicated a significant difference between expected and actual liking, and less variability in actualliking between the apple groups relative to the variability in expected liking.It can be concluded that the visual characteristics of apples influence both expected and actual liking, thepractical implication for retailers being a need to carefully distinguish between the different types of visual suboptimalityand to keep the products that have a higher chance to be chosen (sub-optimal in shape and colour).Thus, these results generate a clearer understanding of visual sub-optimality, and can be incorporated in strategiesfor reducing food waste in stores.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104065
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Food Science (40103)


  • Emotions
  • Expected and Actual Liking
  • Food
  • Moderation
  • Visual Characteristics


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