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Abstract

Using a 'Phantom Ingredient' taste test, this article demonstrates how the use of soy labels and health claims on a package negatively biased taste perceptions and attitudes toward a food erroneously thought to contain soy. Consumers who ate products which mentioned soy on the package described the taste more grainy, less flavorful, and as having a strong aftertaste compared to those who ate the product but saw no soy label. Yet, while putting 'soy' on a package negatively influenced taste-conscious consumers, when combined with a health claim, it improved attitudes among consumers who are health-conscious, natural food lovers, or dieters. Our results and discussion provide better direction for researchers who work with ingredient labeling as well as for marketers who work with soybean products.

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