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Appetite. 2011 Aug;57(1):197-201. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.04.013. Epub 2011 Apr 29.

Product samples stimulate choice of unfamiliar healthful food products.

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  • 1Department of Health Promotion, NUTRIM School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.


The purpose of this study was to assess whether the availability of a product sample of an unfamiliar low-fat or fruit and vegetable products stimulates choice for this product among food neophobic young adults. The study had a 2 (experimental vs. control group) by 4 (low-fat bread spread, low-fat cheese, fruit juice, fruit and vegetable juice) between subjects design with a pre-and post-experiment questionnaire. The study was conducted in restaurant rooms of several educational institutions in the Netherlands among a convenience sample of 197 food neophobic young adults aged 17-25 years. A small bite or sip-sized sample of the target product was provided as an intervention. The effect measure was choice of either an unfamiliar healthful food product or a traditional food product. Offering a sample of an unfamiliar healthful food product resulted in 51% of the participants in the experimental group choosing this product vs. 36.4% in the control group. Providing food product samples seems to be a promising strategy in healthy diet promotion programs for food neophobic young adults to increase first-time trial of unfamiliar low-fat and fruit and vegetable products.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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