Abstract

We suggest that consumers assess the taste of a food or beverage by comparing the human values symbolized by the product to their human value priorities. When there is value-symbol congruency, they experience a better taste and aroma and develop a more favorable attitude and behavior intention; incongruence has the opposite effect. Participants in two taste tests were told the correct identity of a product or misinformed. Participants who endorsed the values symbolized by the product (that they thought they were tasting) evaluated the product more favorably. The implications for marketing strategy, self-congruity theory, and the assimilation effect are discussed.

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