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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1993

Mark T. Conner

Argues that the determinants of food choice are many and varied butall mediated by the individual′s thought processes: perceptual affectiveand behaviour‐deciding. Models…

Abstract

Argues that the determinants of food choice are many and varied but all mediated by the individual′s thought processes: perceptual affective and behaviour‐deciding. Models of these attitudinal variables such as the theory of planned behaviour have been increasingly successful in predicting food choices from people′s answers to questions about their reasons for choosing. However, not all food choices can be given an exhaustive rationale and so models which recognize this, such as the elaboration likelihood model of persuasion and causal analysis of individual choice, are likely to carry forward our understanding of the thought processes underlying food choices.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 95 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2021

Dominic Thomas, Satheesh Seenivasan and Di Wang

This study aims to reveal the presence of products with negatively correlated nutrients in the marketplace and their implications for consumer choices. It also…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to reveal the presence of products with negatively correlated nutrients in the marketplace and their implications for consumer choices. It also investigates the role of an overall simplified nutrition scoring system (SNSS) – health star rating (HSR), in improving the healthiness of consumer choices.

Design/methodology/approach

Three (lab, online and eye-tracking) experiments investigate the effects of negatively correlated nutrients and the mitigating role of an overall SNSS for consumers’ food choices. A final panel-data study analyzes the changes in actual food purchases after the introduction of HSRs (an SNSS) in Australia.

Findings

Experimental results show that consumers use a decision strategy based on a dominant nutrient to choose food products, which creates health halos and leads to less healthy choices when products have negatively correlated nutrients. The presence of an overall SNSS leads to more accurate healthiness perception and healthier choices. Panel data analysis shows that the healthiness of consumer food purchases increased after the introduction of HSRs.

Research limitations/implications

The study investigated the effect of an overall SNSS on specific categories, but not on the overall shopping basket.

Practical implications

For policymakers, this paper shows that overall SNSS helps consumers choose healthier options. Food manufacturers and retailers could be motivated to formulate healthier products when consumers choose healthier options.

Originality/value

This is the first study to document the presence of products with negatively correlated nutrients and their implications for consumer choices. It highlights the unique role of an overall SNSS, in helping consumers identify healthier options when products have negatively correlated nutrients.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2021

Duika Louise Burges Watson, Alizon Draper and Wendy Wills

This paper presents a critical discourse analysis of “choice” as it appears in UK policy documents relating to food and public health. A dominant policy approach to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper presents a critical discourse analysis of “choice” as it appears in UK policy documents relating to food and public health. A dominant policy approach to improving public health has been health promotion and health education with the intention to change behaviour and encourage healthier eating. Given the emphasis on evidence-based policy making within the UK, the continued abstraction of choice without definition or explanation provoked us to conduct this analysis, which focuses on 1976 to the present.

Design/methodology/approach

The technique of discourse analysis was used to analyse selected food policy documents and to trace any shifts in the discourses of choice across policy periods and their implications in terms of governance and the individualisation of responsibility.

Findings

We identified five dominant repertoires of choice in UK food policy over this period: as personal responsibility, as an instrument of change, as an editing tool, as a problem and freedom of choice. Underpinning these is a continued reliance on the rational actor model, which is consonant with neoliberal governance and its constructions of populations as body of self-governing individuals. The self-regulating, self-governing individual is obliged to choose as a condition of citizenship.

Research limitations/implications

This analysis highlights the need for a more sophisticated approach to understanding “choice” in the context of public health and food policy in order to improve diet outcomes in the UK and perhaps elsewhere.

Originality/value

This is the first comprehensive analysis of the discourse of choice in UK food policy.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 123 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2020

Jungkeun Kim, Yuanyuan (Gina) Cui, Euejung Hwang, Drew Franklin and Yuri Seo

This paper aims to examine how consumers make choices when they are faced with a fixed set of available options, consisting of both preferred and less-preferred choices

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how consumers make choices when they are faced with a fixed set of available options, consisting of both preferred and less-preferred choices, in the domain of food consumption. Specifically, the paper offers a novel perspective to predict repeated choice decisions in food consumption, which is termed as “pattern-seeking” – a consumption choice pattern that involves a coherent repetitive sequence of sub-groupings or coherently concentrated sub-groupings of options.

Design/methodology/approach

Eight experimental studies that contrast the existing theoretical predictions regarding repeated choices (e.g. primacy effect, recency effect, variety vs consistency) against pattern-seeking were conducted using hypothetical and actual food choices.

Findings

The results of experimental studies show that an explicit decision pattern (i.e. pattern-seeking) emerges as the most significant predictor of repeated choice in the food consumption domain.

Research limitations/implications

This study offers a novel perspective on how consumers make repeated choices in the domain of food consumption.

Practical implications

The results show that consumers prefer food consumption with a pattern (vs non-pattern). Thus, it would be better to generate marketing activities that allow customers to satisfy their pattern-seeking more easily.

Originality/value

This study advances the literature on repeated food choices by demonstrating that people possess an inherent preference for patterns in food consumption.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 11 December 2017

Amit Sharma, Joonho Moon, Lisa Bailey-Davis and Martha Conklin

Few states or local school districts mandate a minimum time for lunch. With increasing pressure on schools to maximize instructional time, many US students have witnessed…

Abstract

Purpose

Few states or local school districts mandate a minimum time for lunch. With increasing pressure on schools to maximize instructional time, many US students have witnessed continued reductions in the time allotted to lunch periods and, thus, less time to choose from an increasing number of food options. This study aims to investigate middle and high school students’ preferences regarding the time available for school lunches and whether the amount of time would affect their food choice preferences.

Design/methodology/approach

This study investigated students’ self-reported lunchtime constraints and food choice preferences through a paper-and-pencil survey. The categorical and ratio responses were analyzed using ordinal logistic regression.

Findings

Students responded that they rarely had enough time to eat school lunch and that the lunch line waiting time strongly or very strongly influenced their food choices. For the students for whom time available for lunch and time in the lunch line influenced what they ate, they were more likely to prefer limited food choices in several categories of the school lunch menu.

Practical implications

Foodservice professionals who wish to actively promote better nutrition might consider practical ways to reduce the foodservice wait time for students. While making healthier default options (e.g. a fruit or fresh vegetable side) could increase service convenience, time required for students to make informed meal choices should not be compromised.

Originality/value

Because lunch line waiting time is related to students’ food choices, schools need to review the number and types of food choices offered in terms of whether they encourage students to make more healthful choices. This study offers a unique perspective on the relationship between time and individual food choices in the school lunch environment and how this relationship affects the quality of children’s diets and their eating behaviors.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 29 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2012

Marino Bonaiuto, Pierluigi Caddeo, Giuseppe Carrus, Stefano De Dominicis, Barbara Maroni and Mirilia Bonnes

Reputation is conceptualised as the believed effects that any social agent (ranging from a person to a company to a country) can have. Food reputation is beliefs about the…

Abstract

Purpose

Reputation is conceptualised as the believed effects that any social agent (ranging from a person to a company to a country) can have. Food reputation is beliefs about the effects of food on its consumers. On the basis of a multidimensional construct for food reputation derived from qualitative and correlational studies, this paper aims to test four hypotheses about food reputation dimensions' effects on consumers' food choices.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi‐attribute, multi‐step choice experiment was carried out using a “phased narrowing” procedure. The procedure is based on eight product choices, using four reputation dimensions as manipulated attributes (duration, identity‐territoriality, social and environmental responsibility, psycho‐physiological well‐being); this is replicated on one drink and one food product.

Findings

A pilot study (n=50) checked the manipulation of the four reputation dimensions. ANOVA (n=118) showed the impact of the manipulated reputation features in the food choice process, especially in the final decision‐making phase.

Originality/value

The results confirm that food reputation features impact consumer choice, detailing the relative importance of different reputation features according to choice phase, product category, and individual characteristics.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Sophie Ghvanidze, Natalia Velikova, Tim Dodd and Wilna Oldewage-Theron

Over the last few decades, consumers’ concerns for healthier lifestyles and the environment have become the driving forces for forming food-buying intentions. The purpose…

Abstract

Purpose

Over the last few decades, consumers’ concerns for healthier lifestyles and the environment have become the driving forces for forming food-buying intentions. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of product attributes regarding nutrition and health benefits of products, the environmental impact of production and social responsibility of producers on consumers’ food and wine choices.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis is based on an online survey conducted in the USA, the UK and Germany, and incorporates a discrete choice experiment with visual shelf simulations.

Findings

Price and nutrition information are much more influential on consumers’ food choices than information about social responsibility of producers or the ecological impact of production. Product attributes emphasizing the ecological impact of production and social responsibility of food producers are specifically valued by consumers with high levels of environmental consciousness and by those concerned about goods production. Consumers who are health conscious regarding their lifestyle and diets derive high utility values from the nutritional information of the product.

Practical implications

The study contributes to an understanding of how to promote healthier food and wine choices and social and environmental responsibility of food and wine producers in various markets.

Originality/value

The study offers a comparison of product attributes concerning ecological, social, nutrition and health benefits of the product; as well the investigation of congruent interrelationships between the consumers’ values and related product attributes in three culturally distinct consumer groups.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Gabriele Scozzafava, Caterina Contini, Caterina Romano and Leonardo Casini

The purpose of this paper is to answer the following research questions: which are the main drivers in the choice of a restaurant for Italian consumers? Are local, organic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to answer the following research questions: which are the main drivers in the choice of a restaurant for Italian consumers? Are local, organic and GMO-free foods important attributes in the choice of a restaurant?

Design/methodology/approach

In order to answer the research questions, a discrete choice experiment was applied. In particular, the authors opted for the application of a latent class model to identify any differences in the behavioural structures of the various consumers. This approach is, in fact, based on the assumption that the choices of the subjects depend on observable and unobservable heterogeneity that vary with factors not directly detectable.

Findings

People show different preferences when they choose a restaurant. Regarding the choice experiment, the analysis of the importance of the attributes for the final choice highlights how price and service quality are always considered as the most important ones. The presence of menu with local foods, organic foods and OGM-free products is never decisive for the final choice but it is a very appreciated attribute for almost 30 per cent of consumers. This group of consumers (named local oriented) show a willingness to pay (WTP) of 11 euro for local foods, eight euro for organic products and 3.5 euro for OGM-free ingredients. For the locavores, the likelihood of choosing a restaurant offering local products is three times higher than that of a restaurant not possessing this type of certification, all other conditions being equal.

Research limitations/implications

Restaurant owners can differentiate their offerings also considering the local foods and organic products. On the other hand, the restaurants can become powerful marketing channels for local producers. The consumption of organic foods can be increased given the wide WTP displayed. This could positively impact in the promotion of healthier and sustainable diet.

Practical implications

The conditions therefore exist for developing a restaurant offer consisting of a basic menu with local foods, capable of integrating in a virtuous manner with the organic farm productions, which keep an eye on sustainable development and the wholesomeness of foods. If this virtuous process takes root in the restaurant sector, it could certainly represent an important opportunity for the agricultural producers as well, especially in the tourist areas. In order for this opportunity to materially be implemented in a development process, it is, however, necessary to develop certifications and brands capable of constituting credible guarantees for the consumer, as well as strengthening the information and communication campaigns among the younger consumers.

Social implications

The development of a segment of restaurants that support local foods and organic products would have positive impacts both from the social and territorial point of view.

Originality/value

This is the first paper that considers and evaluate the impact of local foods, organic foods and GMO-free foods in the choice of a restaurant. Findings demonstrate how the probability of choosing restaurants that offer local products, compared to the other conditions, is always higher than those focussing on organic or GMO-free products. The choice probability of the restaurant with local products is three times greater than that of a restaurant without local products, all other variables being equal.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2013

Suzanah Abdul Rahman, Muhammad Muzaffar Ali Khan Khattak and Najibatul Rusyda Mansor

This study was conducted to explore the underlying reasons of food choice and the association with risk perception in an urban community. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Abstract

Purpose

This study was conducted to explore the underlying reasons of food choice and the association with risk perception in an urban community. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a cross‐sectional design, adults between 20 and 60 years old, selected by convenience sampling from three different races; Malay, Chinese and Indian, in Sungai Petani, Kedah were surveyed. A self‐administered food choice questionnaire was used and data collected were analysed using SPSS Statistic 17.0.

Findings

Religion, risk perception and sensory appeal were the most prominent factors affecting food choice of respondents. Age showed significant correlation with mood and sensory appeal. Monthly income was significantly correlated with convenience, weight control and familiarity. Risk perception was found to be correlated with all motives except familiarity and religion.

Research limitations/implications

A larger sample with approximately equal number of respondents from the various races would provide a more substantial overview of the trend of food choice in a multicultural population.

Practical implications

This study provides an insight on factors determining the food‐buying power of the community which may directly impact the commercial success of food products including modifying provisions and actions of the food industry.

Originality/value

This research investigated the set priorities of an urban community in deciding the type of food for consumption which may be influenced by multicultural interactions and reported risks.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 43 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2011

James M. Cronin and Mary B. McCarthy

An effective means to promote optimal nutrition for any group of consumers is to expand nutrition professionals' understanding of the cohort's food choice processes. The…

Abstract

Purpose

An effective means to promote optimal nutrition for any group of consumers is to expand nutrition professionals' understanding of the cohort's food choice processes. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the situated food choice influences of the videogames subculture; a known consumption enclave for calorie dense low nutrient foods. The investigation is conducted by application of an abbreviated version of Furst et al.'s model of the food choice process as a conceptual framework.

Design/methodology/approach

This investigation uses an interpretive research strategy and adopts a qualitative approach to data collection and analysis. In total, 14 purposively sampled semi‐structured, in‐depth interviews were carried out with members of the videogames subculture.

Findings

Informants' food choices and preferences during social gameplay were strongly influenced by beliefs related to appropriate food behaviour and ideal characteristics of foods suitable for grazing. All informants described some constraints imposed by the physical surroundings and environmental nature of gameplay such as issues of messiness and inability to eat with utensils while gaming. Social structure played an important role in informants' food choices, and much of this structure was built around the hedonic intersection of food and gameplay. Informants' food choices were also influenced by poor cooking abilities and unwillingness to devote much effort to meal preparation during gameplay.

Practical implications

Used in conjunction with theories of behavioural change, the insights gathered here should help inform interventions and communications strategies. Both commercial and social marketing domains have a role to play in positively influencing gamers' diets.

Originality/value

The paper offers social marketers insight into the influences that underpin unhealthful food choices within the videogames subculture and how to positively bring about change.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

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