We eat first with our (digital) eyes: Enhancing mental simulation of eating experiences via visual-enabling technologies
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionJournal of Retailing Volume 98, Issue 2, June 2022, Pages 277-293 10.1016/j.jretai.2021.04.003
This research examines how consumers’ intentions to purchase food change depending on the visualisation mode (3D vs. AR) and product format (served vs. packaged). In three studies, we demonstrate that mental simulation of eating experiences (process and outcome) mediate these effects. Study 1 shows that AR visualisation of a served food improves simulation of the eating process over 3D visualisation, with a positive effect on purchase intention. Study 2 reveals that 3D visualisation improves purchase intention for packaged products (high instrumental properties) over served products (low instrumental properties) while the opposite is true for AR visualisation. In addition, interactivity and immersion mediate the effects of 3D (vs. AR) on mental simulation of the eating process for packaged products. Study 3 extends these results by showing that 3D increases purchase intention by eliciting mental simulation of the eating outcome, when the food is visible due to transparent (vs. opaque) packaging (displaying both sensory and instrumental properties), but that no such differences emerge for AR. This research highlights the importance of using different visualisation modes to promote food depending on the product format. The findings have important implications for both offline and online retailers.