Flavor principle as an implicit frame: Its effect on the acceptance of instant noodles in a cross-cultural context

Meng Li, Seo Jin Chung

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11 Scopus citations


This study investigated how the stability of liking ratings for instant noodles can be affected by implicit frames of reference constructed by flavor principles, unique combinations of flavor ingredients that can be identified as characterizing a particular ethnic/cultural cuisine, in a cross-cultural context. The influence of consumers’ food neophobia on the liking of noodles was studied as well. Koreans (n = 263) and Chinese (n = 258) residing in South Korea participated. Products with the highest market share in China (T_CHN) and Korea (T_KOR) were chosen as the targets. The implicit frame of reference applied during the sample evaluation was manipulated by exposing consumers to instant noodles composed of a particular “ethnic flavor principle” before tasting the two target samples. Consumers were split into five groups and were allocated to one of the three flavor principle frame conditions or one of the two controlled conditions. Consumers in the Asian frame were exposed to three noodles popular in Indonesia, Thailand, and Japan. Three Chinese and three Korean noodles were served in the Chinese and Korean frames, respectively. Two groups of consumers within each country served as controls and tasted a single sample of either T_CHN or T_KOR. Consumers rated how much they liked the samples. Consumer's food neophobia was measured. Consumers searched for a contextual flavor consistent with the conditioned frame of reference when they were evaluating the target samples under their own country's flavor principle and tended to give lower liking scores for foreign target samples than for other samples. However, when the frame of reference was constructed with a foreign flavor principle, the degree of familiarity with the target sample positively influenced its liking score. Food neophobic attitudes influenced the liking of unfamiliar samples. Moreover, consumers’ food neophobia scores were affected by type of implicit flavor principle frame.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104293
JournalFood Quality and Preference
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We deeply thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments to improve the manuscript. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2019R1A2C1003662).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Cross-culture
  • Flavor principle
  • Food acceptance
  • Food neophobia
  • Implicit frame
  • Instant noodle


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