“Everywhere You Look, You’ll Find Food”: Emerging Adult Perspectives Toward the Food Media Landscape

Paulien Decorte, Isabelle Cuykx, Lauranna Teunissen, Karolien Poels, Tim Smits, Sara Pabian, Kathleen Van Royen, Charlotte J. S. De Backer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This study explores what emerging adults value in food media, i.e. food-focused content and personae in media. Emerging adults (18–25) are an important target group for food media as they transition toward nutritional independence and consume media substantially. Seven semi-structured focus groups were conducted with thirty-seven Belgian participants. Thematic analysis revealed three themes (hedonism, ability, information) grouping nine subthemes (entertainment, sensory appeal, convenience, familiarity, cost, autonomy, education, health and fitness, and innovation) characterizing emerging adults’ food media experiences. Incidental exposure and interpersonal influences also mark their food media consumption. This demonstrates food media’s interwovenness in emerging adults’ media habits. Further research should consider these themes and complexities, including their potential impact toward food-related habits and media use.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalEcology of Food and Nutrition
Early online date11 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2021


  • Emerging adults
  • consumer behavior
  • focus group
  • food media
  • media habits


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