Hedonic food consumption
: the impact of healthy labels, salient health goals, and purchase targets on consumers’ representations and purchase intentions

  • Raquel Correia de Sousa (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Over the years, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of making healthand wellbeing decisions, not only as an ill individual, but also as a consumer. Additionally, consumers are progressively more concerned not only with their physical health, but also with their psychological health. Consumers want to make healthier choices, that can be supported by nutritional labels, but also want to experience the pleasure associated with eating certain foods, which can contribute to their psychological well-being. This dissertation examines consumers’ pleasure and diet expectations, physical and psychological health representations, purchase intentions, preferences, and level of anticipatory guilt towards hedonic products, depending on Health Saliency (Healthy Label vs. No-Label), Health Goals (Physical vs. Psychological), and Purchase Target (Self vs. Friend). The interactions between these variables were also explored. The study comprised an online survey, where participants were randomly assigned to one of two Health Goals (Physical or Psychological) and to one of two Purchase Targets (Self or Friend). Results revealed that the presence of healthy labels on hedonic products leads to a decrease inconsumers’ hedonic representation of those products. Furthermore, findings indicate that both consumers with a focus on psychological health and consumers purchasing for others express higher purchase intentions, pleasure, and enjoyment for hedonic foods, and they were also shown to believe that those products are better to make them feel emotionally well, when compared to consumers with a focus on their body’s health and consumers purchasing for themselves.
Date of Award2 Feb 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorAna Sofia Bilreio Jacinto Braga (Supervisor)


  • Hedonic products
  • Healthy labels
  • Health goals
  • Physical health
  • Psychological health
  • Consumers’ perceptions
  • Self-other differences
  • Purchase intentions
  • Purchase targets


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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