Consumers’ Feelings of Guilt as a Function of Snack Type.

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Schuster, M.J., J.E. Painter, R. Bernas, J. MacKenzie, 2017. Consumers’ Feelings of Guilt as a Function of Snack Type. EC Nutrition 7.6:291-297.

This study investigates the association between leading snack foods and consumers’ feelings of guilt and willingness to share. Our hypothesis was that guilt and willingness to share will vary as a function of snack type. We further hypothesized that consumers who choose nutrient-dense snacks, would feel less guilt and increased willingness to share when compared to other less nutrient-dense snack foods. Consumers were given 6 of the leading snack brands. Data was collected on the consumers’ feeling of guilt and willingness to share after reading the label and consuming each item. Results showed that consumers vary in their feeling of guilt and willingness to share as a function of snack type. These variations may be partially explained by the nutrient content and the length and makeup of the ingredients of the snacks. Higher nutrient levels and fewer ingredients may partially explain lower ratings of guilt and greater willingness to share.