Search Conferences

Type in any word, words or author name. This searchs through the abstract title, keywords and abstract text and authors. You may search all conferences or just select one conference.

 All Conferences
 EMAC 2019 Annual Conference
 EMAC 2020 Annual Conference
 EMAC 2020 Regional Conference
 EMAC 2021 Annual Conference
 EMAC 2021 Regional Conference
 EMAC 2022 Annual
 EMAC 2022 Regional Conference

EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Ethical, but pitiful: Exploring consumers’ socio-evolutionary responses to stereotyped foods and their favorers

Published: May 27, 2020


Harri Luomala, University of Vaasa, School of Marketing and Communication; Anne Matilainen, University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute; Marjo Siltaoja, University of Jyväskylä; Lähdesmäki Merja, University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute; Leena Viitaharju, University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute; Sami Kurki, University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute


food; stereotypical meanings; emotions


Ingredients such as insects can evoke negative stereotypical meanings in consumers’ minds, even though representing an alternative healthy and sustainable protein source. We offer a novel socio-evolutionary conceptualization that accounts for the drivers and outcomes of consumer responses to differently stereotyped foods and their users. Our S1 (N = 412) shows that roach (Cypriniformes fish species) foods are shrouded with negative stereotypical food meanings and that Self-enhancement values foster the most positive views. For S2, we collect more data (N = 400) to establish that consumers, observing users of various stereotyped foods, differentially exhibit emotions of admiration, pity, contempt and envy as well as the action tendencies of imitation, rejection and rivalry. The contribution of our research is to theoretically formalize and empirically demonstrate how evolutionary needs and socio-cultural factors work together to shape the meanings food products convey to consumers.


This work was supported by the Academy of Finland [grant number 296726]