How the cookie crumbles : a multi-method investigation of food and recipe media content use in relation to gratifications, processing, and effects among emerging adults
Food plays a central role in people’s daily media use patterns, as food media content has become pervasive across various media. There is also a growing integration between people’s food and media habits, creating an intricate relationship between food and media. Understanding food media content use is therefore central to a broader understanding of both daily media and food behaviors. Emerging adults (18-25) form a significant demographic group in both food and media domains. They are in a unique developmental stage and generation marked by extensive media use and evolving food preferences that can shape their long-term consumer choices and health outcomes. Their extensive media use consistently exposes them to ubiquitous food media content, which can impact their immediate and future consumer decisions and health behaviors. While various research disciplines have explored food media content use, a specific and systematic focus is lacking on how emerging adults interact with food media content as it ranges from active to passive use and is present across various media. Recipe media content is another promising area of study among emerging adults, as a key food information source from various senders influencing their food-related decisions. Here, there remains a need to investigate its social dynamics, understanding how emerging adults perceive and prefer content from various sources. Furthermore, an investigation the persuasive mechanisms in this content affecting their emotional and cognitive processing and food-related decisions is warranted. A bottom-up approach is necessary that aims to investigate food and recipe media content use departing from emerging adults’ own perspectives. It can better inform media and content creation strategies, health promotion, marketing, and this age group’s food decision-making. This dissertation develops an integrated model applied to food media content use, processing, and effects. Five empirical chapters address different parts of this integrated model and employ a sequential, multi-method approach. They converge to collectively and holistically inform an understanding of the various factors at play in how emerging adults use, process, and are affected by food and recipe media content. These different chapters contribute to a conceptual, theoretical, and empirical understanding of this phenomenon while combining different methodological approaches. Limitations and intriguing paths for future work are acknowledged and discussed. Implications and recommendations are formulated that can benefit both marketers and health promotors in creating preferred and influential food media content for emerging adults.
Antwerpen : Universiteit Antwerpen, Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen, Departement Communicatiewetenschappen , 2024
XIII, 375 p.
Supervisor: De Backer, Charlotte [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Poels, Karolien [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Smits, Tim [Supervisor]
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Creation 19.02.2024
Last edited 24.02.2024
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