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Young adults' food motives: an Australian social marketing perspective

Tegan Piggford (Postgraduate Student based at the Faculty of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore South, Australia.)
Maria Raciti (Lecturer based at the Faculty of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore South, Australia.)
Debra Harker (Associate Professors based at the Faculty of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore South, Australia.)
Michael Harker (Associate Professors, based at the Faculty of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore South, Australia.)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 14 March 2008

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Abstract

Purpose

Understanding the drivers of young adults' healthy food choices is vital to addressing the public health issue of obesity. The healthy eating motives that underlay such consumer choice behavior are particularly important to the well‐being of society. This research is novel in that it aims to investigate the food motives of young Australian adults in relation to five socio‐demographic factors, namely place of residence, gender, age, gross income and work hours. While overseas studies have examined some of these factors, the Australian context and its nuances is one that is notably absent. Thus, this research aims to provide meaningful contributions to the extant literature from an Australian perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

For this study of 18 to 24‐year‐old Australians, quantitative data from a total of 310 respondents (93.7 percent response rate) were collected using quota sampling.

Findings

The paper finds that gender and work hours significantly influenced food motives; however, place of residence, age and gross income while successful with young adults in other countries, did not influence healthy food choices in Australia.

Research limitations/implications

While the findings corroborate some aspects of overseas studies, they contradict others and also add new information. Collectively, they contribute useful insights for social marketing intervention strategies concerned with influencing food choice among young Australian consumers.

Originality/value

This study indicates that intervention campaigns that are based upon residence, age and gross income in relation to healthy eating, while possibly successful with young adults in other countries, are likely to be ineffective in Australia.

Keywords

Citation

Piggford, T., Raciti, M., Harker, D. and Harker, M. (2008), "Young adults' food motives: an Australian social marketing perspective", Young Consumers, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 17-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/17473610810857282

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited