This study addresses the conceptualization of food image and examines the role food and cuisine play in the formation of destination brand image. By tracing the destination branding literature with a specific focus on image and three components that influence food image formation, the authors map the current state of food image research in tourism. They then provide a dual-perspective review of food image—one that is projected and/or perceived by destination marketers and their food producers and suppliers, and the other a mental representation as perceived by tourists. The evaluation aligns the various dimensions, underlying variables, and indicators of food destination attractiveness as reflected in host–tourist perspectives. The paper offers a comprehensive conceptual framework of food tourism branding and suggests a pathway for future empirical research on destination image and branding. © The Author(s) 2017.
- brand image formation
- destination branding
- Food image
- food tourism
- perceived and projected food image