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An analysis of public opinions regarding Internet-famous food: a 2016–2019 case study on Dianping

Cen Song (China University of Petroleum–Beijing, Beijing, China)
Li Zheng (China University of Petroleum–Beijing, Beijing, China)
Xiaojun (Gene) Shan (University of Houston Clear Lake, Houston, Texas, USA)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 2 February 2022

Issue publication date: 3 November 2022

262

Abstract

Purpose

Internet-famous food (also known as “online celebrity” food) is very popular in the digital age. This study aims to investigate consumer attitudes and understand consumer behavior towards Internet-famous food.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collected 136,835 online comments regarding “Internet-famous food” from Dianping platform between 2016 and 2019 using a web scraper. A sentiment lexicon for Internet-famous food was constructed, and sentiment analysis is further conducted to understand consumer attitudes. Additionally, the authors use topic analysis and time series analysis to study consumer behavior.

Findings

Sentiment analysis showed that the number of consumers' comments decreased over time with the attitudes being overall positive, and the Internet-famous food industry has a positive prospect; time series analysis showed that the consumption of Internet-famous food was not affected by the season; topic analysis showed that consumers' comments on Internet-famous food were rich with a large variety, covering food categories, brand, quality, service, environment and price.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, limited research has focused on public opinions regarding “Internet-famous food”. This is the first study on consumer behavior towards Internet-famous food. This article provides a unique insight into the purchasing behavior and attitude of Chinese Internet-famous food consumers through text mining.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This research was funded by (National Natural Science Foundation of China) grant number (71901218) and the APC was funded by (National Natural Science Foundation of China) grant number (71901218).

Citation

Song, C., Zheng, L. and Shan, X.(G). (2022), "An analysis of public opinions regarding Internet-famous food: a 2016–2019 case study on Dianping", British Food Journal, Vol. 124 No. 12, pp. 4462-4476. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-05-2021-0510

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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