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The event experiences of attendees with food allergies, intolerances and coeliac disease: risk loaded value-creation/destruction

Lina Weber (Oxford Brookes Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)
Peter Lugosi (Oxford Brookes Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 29 April 2021

Issue publication date: 8 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

For attendees with allergies, intolerances and coeliac disease, accessing safe, nutritious and good quality food and drink is a vital but challenging dimension of events. This study sought to capture and analyse the lived event experiences of individuals with a variety of food-related health, wellbeing and safety needs.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted an inductive approach, using semi-structured interviews to gather qualitative data from participants with various food allergies and intolerances or coeliac disease.

Findings

Attendees had low expectations regarding food choice, quality and value, which stemmed from past event experiences. Poor information about suitable food and drink, coupled with frontline staffs' perceived knowledge, responsiveness and care were frequently seen as sources of service failures. The data stress how exposure to potentially harmful foods and food avoidance influenced attendees' experiences. The findings also help to appreciate consumers' agency, identifying various coping strategies used by affected individuals to anticipate risks, engage in compensatory behaviours and mitigate the effects of unsuitable food and drink.

Originality/value

This study is unique in examining the event experiences of individuals with food allergies, intolerances and coeliac disease. It demonstrates how practices in the crucial domain of food and drink provision can affect the overall event experience, with potential consequences at, across and potentially beyond the venue and occasion. From a theoretical perspective, the study conceptualises intersections of risk, value-creation/destruction and experiential consumption. It shows the “episodic” and “perpetual” impacts of “risk loaded” consumption, while arguing that diverse value-creation/destruction practices mediate pathways leading to different experiential outcomes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors have no conflict of interest to report and this study has not received any funding or support from a third party.

Citation

Weber, L. and Lugosi, P. (2021), "The event experiences of attendees with food allergies, intolerances and coeliac disease: risk loaded value-creation/destruction", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 184-202. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEFM-11-2020-0066

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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