This paper aims to empirically investigate the role of product positioning in the launch of food and drink products using a large dataset of new product development by food companies in Australia (AU) and New Zealand (NZ). As such, positioning through credence attribute claims can be associated with product launch strategies, including brand-new products, expansion of product ranges, new packaging and relaunch, as a response to market demand.
Text analysis was used to investigate the descriptions of food claims using Structured Query Language, providing a word list of food claims and further filtered and categorised into groups of claims. Multinomial regression models were then employed to analyse the association between product launch strategies and food claims adopted by firms.
The results of this paper provide evidence that positioning via food claims play an important role in product launch strategies in both AU and NZ. Types of food claims matter differently to firms' product launch decisions in the two markets. The “green” and “ethical” attributes are found to be associated with new launches in NZ but not in AU. Claims that are seen as most important for consumers are more likely to be engendered for the more costly launch approach.
This study is amongst the first studies that addresses the role of positioning in product launch strategies of food companies. The results and findings provide insights into the different prevailing credence attributes from the firm side and help policymakers to regulate the delivery of information about credence attributes to consumers.
Funding: This work was supported by the Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce, Lincoln University (Award Number: INT5090).
Yang, W., Tantiwat, W., Renwick, A., Revoredo-Giha, C. and Wang, L. (2022), "The role of credence attribute claims in food product launch – a comparative study of New Zealand and Australia", British Food Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-03-2022-0254
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