Marketers Beware: Seeing Food Pics B4 May Kill Desire for Same

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Instagram Is Spoiling Your Dinner  by Benjamin Plackett

It turns out that those self-appointed ‘foodies’ clogging up your Instagram feed with photos of their latest gastronomic feat are more than just annoying – they’re literally ruining your appetite.

Research published last month in the Journal of Consumer Psychology suggests the visual anticipation of that farm-to-table, foie gras-topped bison burger you’re going to eat tonight may not heighten the culinary experience after all – in fact it does the opposite.

“It’s sensory boredom – you’ve kind of moved on”…looking at images of a certain type of food, and then subsequently eating it, diminishes the gratification you get from it.  “It’s sensory boredom – you’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience anymore,”

“Simulating food consumption begins the process of satisfaction”

But how is this true? Wouldn’t looking at savory foods similar to peanuts get you in the mood for a salty snack? Well, seems not. “Simulating food consumption begins the process of satisfaction,” ….In other words, you’ve begun to imagine eating it, which to the brain is as good as if not pretty close to the real thing. Much like how the fifth bite of a slice of cheesecake is often less satisfying than the first, so too is the first bite when you’ve been looking at pictures and thinking about cheesecakes all day…the effect is short lived so it might be a good idea to simply put the phone down as you approach dinnertime. “If you’re going to eat shortly after looking at food pictures, you’re probably going to enjoy that food less. If you’re eating further down the line, then you’ll probably be fine – it resets pretty quickly.”

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