Nostalgia and consumer preference for indulgent foods: the role of social connectedness

Xuehua Wang, Hean Tat Keh, Chen Ho Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Prior qualitative research suggests a strong association between nostalgia and indulgent food consumption. Nonetheless, these qualitative findings do not explain the causal relationship between nostalgia and indulgent food consumption, or the mechanism underlying this relationship. To this end, the authors conduct four studies and show that highly nostalgic consumers have greater preference for indulgent foods. This relationship is mediated by social connectedness, whereby high (low) nostalgia works through high (low) social connectedness to increase (decrease) consumers’ preference for indulgent foods. This effect is moderated by eating companions, such that the effect of nostalgia on consumers’ preference for indulgent foods would be strengthened (vs. weakened) when eating with friends (vs. with strangers or alone). These findings have significant implications on consumer well-being and policy-making pertaining to consumer health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-326
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • eating companions
  • food consumption
  • indulgent foods
  • nostalgia
  • social connectedness

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