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The effect of consumption context on consumer hedonics, emotional response and beer choice

Nijman, Marit; James, Sue; Dehrmann, Frieda; Smart, Katherine; Ford, Rebecca; Hort, Joanne


Marit Nijman

Sue James

Frieda Dehrmann

Katherine Smart

Joanne Hort


The context of a consumer test affects participant response. Data collected in a sensory laboratory is likely to have little predictive value of consumer experience in real-life situations. This study determined the effects of context on consumer response to two commercial beers. Regular beer consumers (n=100) rated liking and emotional response using ten beer-specific emotion categories for two beers (Lager and Ale) under three different conditions: (1) a sensory testing facility (Lab), (2) a natural consumption environment (Bar) and (3) using an evoked context (Evoked). Their choice of product to take home was also recorded. Overall results showed significant product differentiation for liking (F (99, 2, 1) = 8.46, p = 0.004) and product choice (Q (1, N = 100) = 4.85, p = 0.028) in the Bar but not in the Lab or Evoked context. Emotional variables highlighted significant product differentiation (p < 0.05) but more so in the Bar than in the Lab or Evoked context. However, clustering participants on liking revealed three distinct clusters differing in sensitivity to context. Two clusters showed opposing but consistent preference for one of the two products regardless of context. The third cluster was more influenced by context, showing a more discriminating response in the Bar. These findings showed that consumers differ in their degree of context-sensitivity and the extent to which evoking a context gives similar results to a real environment. They also highlighted the importance of segmentation and confirmed the added insights gained by measuring emotional response compared to liking.


Nijman, M., James, S., Dehrmann, F., Smart, K., Ford, R., & Hort, J. (2019). The effect of consumption context on consumer hedonics, emotional response and beer choice. Food Quality and Preference, 74, 59-71.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 13, 2019
Online Publication Date Jan 17, 2019
Publication Date Jan 17, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 21, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 21, 2019
Journal Food Quality and Preference
Print ISSN 0950-3293
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 74
Pages 59-71
Keywords Food Science; Nutrition and Dietetics
Public URL
Publisher URL


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