A Netnographic Study on the Perceptions of Consuming Virtual Food

Rokhshad Tavakoli*, Tan Ai Ling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Virtual technology is re-ontologising our world by creating new realities in different disciplines, such as education, marketing, tourism and hospitality. Recently, virtual tourism is an area that has been gaining particular attention from software developers and consumers. Virtual tourism experiences involve all the aspects of actual tourism, such as leisure and recreational activities and food. Since food is one of the essential components of both daily life and the tourism experience, studies on virtual food perception and experiences are very significant. Many studies have been conducted on virtual food experiences in various fields, such as psychology, food and computer sciences. Relatively speaking, however, virtual food has been neglected by tourism scholars. Thus, this paper attempts to explore the perception of virtual food consumption by applying the netnography and qualitative content analysis approach under the social constructivism paradigm. More specifically, the sociological perspectives of the acceptance of virtual food consumption are analysed in this paper. Data was collected from comments on a video about virtual food that was shared on Facebook. The data set was analysed using the thematic method. The key findings reveal that the idea of virtual food technology is entirely accepted by most people; they are looking forward to experiencing it and, at the same time, they suggest implementing it in the context of sustainable development. These suggestions include the future use of virtual food; how it can be used to help with health conditions, solving hunger issues and obesity; and the potential reduced expenditure on food products. Although many were in favour of the idea of virtual food, some respondents did not agree with investing in this kind of project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-116
Number of pages20
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Innovation in Hospitality and Tourism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • netnography
  • technology consumption
  • the meaning of food
  • Virtual food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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