The role of satisfaction, norms and conflict in families' eating behaviour

Svein Ottar Olsen (The Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway)
Klaus G. Grunert (MAPP Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Sector, Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 27 July 2010



The purpose of this study is to analyse the relationship between satisfaction and consumer behaviour by proposing and testing a model of how moral and social influences interact with individual satisfaction and conflict to explain and understand consumer behaviour in a family context, using consumption of fish for the family as an example.


Survey data from a sample of 452 Norwegian respondents are used. The target behaviour was eating fish as a family meal. The constructs of behaviour, satisfaction, social norm, preference conflict and personal norm were measured by multiple‐item measures. After checking for reliability and validity of the data by confirmatory factor analysis, structural equation modelling in Lisrel was used to estimate relationships between the constructs and their measures.


While satisfaction, social norm and preference conflict had an influence on behaviour, the impact of satisfaction was least among the three constructs. In turn, these three constructs were influenced by personal norm. Also, social norm and preference conflict were mutually related.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on self‐reported data and does not include observational data. It is also based on cross‐sectional data. The results underline the importance of social factors when dealing with the relationship between satisfaction and behaviour in a family context.

Practical implications

The role of satisfaction as a strategic variable in establishing customer loyalty should be put in context whenever consumption decisions are made in a social situation, since social variables may be more important for establishing loyalty than individual satisfaction of one person whenever decisions are made jointly in a family household.


The results highlighted here have important managerial implications for the use of satisfaction data in marketing and will be of use to those working in that field.



Svein Ottar Olsen and Klaus G. Grunert (2010) "The role of satisfaction, norms and conflict in families' eating behaviour", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 44 No. 7/8, pp. 1165-1181

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