In this study, we examined the impact of olfactory cues on consumers’ food-product purchase behavior. Specifically, we applied a category management (CM) perspective. The theories of CM, cue congruence, and hedonic orientation for purchase behavior were applied using data collected through an experiment. These data were analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methods. The presence of olfactory cues has a positive impact on purchase behavior, as measured by product category sales, and no significant cannibalization effect on spatially related product categories occurred. Hedonism and cue congruence explain category differences and intra-category development. This study is the first to address changes in cross-category and within-category behavior resulting from an olfactory cue. We compared two effectiveness moderator theories: cue congruence and hedonic orientation. As a methodological improvement, we measured actual sales (instead of consumer intent) and complementary data via qualitative interviews.
Keywords: Sensory marketing, olfaction, category management, hedonic orientation, purchase behavior
Jel Code: M31, Q13, L66