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Honey: food or medicine? A comparative study between Slovakia and Romania

Peter Šedík (Department of Marketing and Trade, Slovak University of Agriculture, Nitra, Slovakia)
Cristina Bianca Pocol (Department of Animal Production and Food Safety, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
Elena Horská (Department of Marketing and Trade, Slovak University of Agriculture, Nitra, Slovakia)
Mariantonietta Fiore (Department of Economics, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 16 May 2019

Issue publication date: 7 June 2019



The purpose of this paper is to investigate different profiles of honey consumers in Slovakia and Romania by using a segmentation approach, thus supporting honey producers from both countries and promoting the consumption of honey for both food and health benefits.


A paper and online survey was conducted in two representative regions of Slovakia (n=2,138) and Romania (n=1,100), between November 2017 and February 2018. By carrying out a two-step cluster analysis, several segments of honey consumers based on consumption patterns, demographic profile, purchasing behaviour and honey preferences were defined.


In both countries, honey is mostly consumed as food product and medicine and the majority of consumers think honey has healing effects. Based on the data, the authors identified similar segments in Slovakia and Romania, in terms of frequency and annual consumption (“maniacs” or “loyal consumers”, “regular consumers”, “occasional consumers” or “sporadic consumers” and “irregular consumers”), but, at the same time, those segments are different in terms of the way in which honey is consumed (multipurpose or direct consumption, spreads, beverages and ingredients for cooking).


The findings provide honey producers–beekeepers a wider information base, which can increase effectiveness of price, distribution and marketing communication strategies. Furthermore, knowledge from results will allow producers to specialise and place the production by designing different marketing strategies in different segments.



Šedík, P., Pocol, C.B., Horská, E. and Fiore, M. (2019), "Honey: food or medicine? A comparative study between Slovakia and Romania", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 6, pp. 1281-1297.



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