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Senior consumers and risk/benefit trade-off in functional foods

Aina Ravoniarison (COACTIS, Lumière-Lyon-2 University, Lyon, France)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to examine how French senior consumers deal with duality between perceived risk and perceived value associated with functional foods (FFs) and to analyze whether the risk-value trade-off may help to derive different consumer profiles.


Data were collected from 220 senior consumers (50-70). A two-step clustering analysis was carried out on factor scores of perceived value and perceived risk. Discriminant analysis was then employed to verify the classification reliability, and analysis of variance was performed to profile the clusters on the basis of additional variables.


Four distinctive profiles of FF senior consumers were identified. Significant differences were found to be attributed to personality traits. Interestingly, the “Trustful enthusiasts” and the “Ambivalents” consumers do not differ in their repurchase intention, despite a significant discrepancy in risk perception.

Practical implications

The study is an opportunity to offer a segmentation of this attractive growing target of health-enhancing products. The typology can help the practitioners to find out a new valuable scope of messages to better communicate to elderly market.


The research seeks to contribute to the existing knowledge on seniors’ nutrition-related behavior, by proposing a segmentation still lacking in research works. Since FF perceived value appears to be multidimensional and not only utilitarian, the study provides a new insight into the experiential approach of health-enhancing eating. Also, it shows how the differences between FF consumers could be attributed to certain personal variables.



Ravoniarison, A. (2017), "Senior consumers and risk/benefit trade-off in functional foods", British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 6, pp. 1232-1246.



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