The Effect of a Health Claim on Repeated Liking for Two Health Beneficial Foods

A.A.M. Poelman, J. Mojet*

WUR-CICS, the Netherlands;


The aim of this study was to investigate the liking over time for two health beneficial foods differing in novelty in the presence and absence of a health claim.


Over a five-day period, 148 subjects (72 men; 76 women; mean age 38.9 years, 12.8 years) consumed and evaluated tapenade and fish mousse, both enriched with brown algae extract. The presence or absence of a health claim was balanced over the subjects for both products. The health claim was related to antioxidants and the activation of the immune system.


Liking decreased over time for both products, as well as appetite, perceived complexity and perceived balance. Initially the tapenade was liked, but a small decline over time (0.5 points on a 9 point scale) was observed in both health claim conditions. The fish mousse, a novel product to Dutch consumers, was not much liked at first and also showed a decline over time. A large decrease in appetite was observed after the first consumption. The liking for the fish mousse was affected by the health claim, but only in specific subgroups. Women and subjects of the younger subgroup liked the fish mousse less in the presence of a health claim. The liking for the fish mousse did not meet expectations. The discrepancy was largest for women who tasted the fish mousse in the presence of a health claim, which may indicate the occurrence of a contrast effect.


The results show that the health claim did not affect the hedonic response of the most liked product. At the same time, initial liking was not retained, seriously threatening the products’ success on the market.


This study was supported by the European Union project SEAHEALTH, contract no. QLK1-CT-2002-02433.