Food and the Perception of Eating: The Case of Young Taiwanese Consumers

E.C.L. Yang, C. Khoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores the food perception of young Taiwanese consumers, a growing market segment in the restaurant industry. An innovative qualitative tool known as the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) was employed to elicit deeper thoughts and emotions of young consumers. Twelve Taiwanese from Generation Y were invited to participate in a ZMET interview where they expressed their perceptions concerning food and eating through self-collected images. The data were analyzed using constant comparative method and charted on a consensus map. Five themes have evolved from the consensus map: health, trying new food, sharing, enhancing knowledge, and happiness. Findings reveal that young Taiwanese consumers are health-conscious and have high acceptance of novel food. They perceive food as a means of enjoyment and fostering social relationships. This study has contributed additional perspectives to existing literature by revealing the function of food in enhancing knowledge, as well as unveiling the deep-seated meanings of food associated with consumer's personal relevance values. Marketing implications for the restaurant industry targeting young Taiwanese consumers are proposed. © 2015 Asia Pacific Tourism Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1545-1564
Number of pages20
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • food perception
  • qualitative
  • restaurant industry
  • Taiwan
  • young consumers
  • ZMET
  • comparative study
  • consumption behavior
  • food
  • food industry
  • food quality
  • marketing
  • nutrition
  • perception
  • young population


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