Young children’s perceptions of branded healthy fast food

Kellershohn, J., Walley, K. and Vriesekoop, F. (2018) Young children’s perceptions of branded healthy fast food. British Food Journal.

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of branding on healthy fast food items. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 20 children (age 4 – 6) performed one open sort and four closed card sorts about food preferences, perceived healthiness and perceived parental preferences using branded and non-branded food image cards. Descriptive statistics were calculated and major themes were identified from the verbatim transcripts. Findings – The children chose whole fruit over branded and bagged apple slices, stating whole fruit would be tastier, healthier and more likely parent approved. When apples were sliced and bagged, perceived taste and healthiness perceptions were variable. Packaged foods were more challenging for the children to conceptualize. Presented with eight options, french fries were the favorite choice as the children did not believe fruit or vegetable side dishes should accompany a cheeseburger. Research limitations/implications – Only children ’ s perceptions and not actual eating behaviors were measured. It was a small sample ( n ¼ 20) with limited sample diversity that would not be representative of all children. Practical implications – Packaging and branding a healthy food item with a fast food logo did not increase the item ’ s appeal to the children. Branding healthy foods in this manner may not lead to increased consumption. Originality/value – The impact of branding healthy items on very young children ’ s perceptions has rarely been examined. Most of the research on branded food items has focused on high calorie processed foods. Using a card sort exercise allowed children, too young to read and write, to articulate similarities, differences and motivations around food preferences

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Parents, Health, Children, Food choice, Fast food, Card sort
Divisions: Food, Land and Agribusiness Management
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2018 11:28
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2021 11:30

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