A Fat Debate on Big Food? Unraveling Blogosphere Reactions

by Ans Kolk, Hsin-Hsuan Lee, Willemijn Van Dolen

Fall 2012

Volume 55
Issue 1

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Confronted with public concerns about health and obesity, food companies are taking several initia¬tives. However, it is unclear to what extent they should communicate these policies. This article explores reactions in the blogosphere to health-related announcements by large food companies. Results show that taste-related announcements generate not only more reactions, but also more positive buzz than knowledge-related announcements. Valence is influenced by issue association per company type: those with highest obesity associations generate more negative blog posts. In case of low issue association, there are only limited blogosphere reactions. This analysis has important implications for managing interaction with social media.

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