The present study investigates the role of virtual contextual information, including affective information, in gustatory perception of crisps (fried potato chips). In a first preliminary experiment, we evaluated the association among three augmented reality (AR) animations (a pear-like character jumping a rope, a black-and-white cartoon character, a Venus flytrap carnivorous plant) and a different series of feelings and emotional states (i.e., cheerfulness, sadness, anger, aggressiveness, fear, anxiety, disgust, surprise, shame, tiredness, boredom). In a second experiment, the participants evaluated the gustatory perception of three different kinds of chips on several dimensions (e.g., pleasantness, crispiness, healthiness, purchase intention) by using visual analog scales. The chips were presented within an AR environment where the animations evaluated in Experiment 1 were placed close to the serving plate. The results of our study demonstrated that the chips tasted with the pear-like character animation (categorized as cheerful in Experiment 1) were judged as healthier than those tasted with black-and-white (i.e., sad) and Venus flytrap character animations (i.e., aggressive). Moreover, people's purchase intentions were higher with the pear-like character animation, as compared with the black-and-white character animation. These results showed that the context created by AR can affect participants’ food perception across several dimensions.

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