Consumers use aesthetics bias to judge the risk of their food intake, having an important impact on food waste of less appealing food (i.e., aesthetically imperfect foods). In six studies, this research adds to past work by revealing that when the aesthetics bias is applied to food targets, consumers make risk inferences for imperfect (vs. perfect) food products, thus reducing their purchase intention. In addition, the findings suggest that construal level moderates food aesthetics bias, reducing perceived risk and increasing purchase intention of aesthetically imperfect foods in abstract (vs. concrete) construal. This research uncovers the importance of abstract thinking in order to revoke the food aesthetics bias. The findings have critical implications for researchers, managers, and public policy makers on how to mitigate food aesthetics biases, which can contribute to reducing food waste.
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