Research looks at connection between emotions and flowers

Growers are looking for new ways to add value to their products. More fundamental knowledge on the perception of emotions evoked by flowers can help to understand how to produce products that fit the consumers’ mood.

Flowers and emotions
In general, emotions influence consumer behaviour in a systematic and predictable way. This offers the opportunity to study how emotions play a role in consumer decision making and how this can be used in marketing. Such insights could lead to the production of tailor-made flowers, fit for the occasion and the specific moods of consumers. Understanding the fundamental processes leading to liking is the basis to value creation in Floriculture.

Approach
Inspired by the developments in sensory research in vegetables and the development of flavour models, a research has started into the evoking of specific emotions by flowers. Which flowers do evoke feelings like love, happiness or joy? How should a comforting bouquet look like, or when is it fit for mourning? The research will focus on positive emotions such as happiness, pride and perception of beauty. The exact measurement such emotions is a first step in the project. A second step could be the development of models that use vision parameters as input parameters for the prediction of liking. Next, when the research is possible with photographs, the use of digital platforms could allow researchers to collect such data in different regions and countries. The researchers will use self-reporting panels and pupil dilatation to study the consumer’s reactions. Such neuroimaging techniques will allow them to study reaction patterns before emotions become manifest in the conscience. The first pilot will be research on Begonia.

Collaboration
This research is carried out with the Neuroimaging Centre of the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), Beekenkamp Plants, PostNL and ‘s Zomers Flowers (Rotterdam). Two Wageningen University & Research groups are participating: The Business Unit Greenhouse Horticulture and the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group. The project is supported by the Ministry of Economic affairs.

Source: Wageningen University & Research

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