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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2011

Joanne Labrecque and Sylvain Charlebois

Functional foods, also known controversially as “phoods,” are perceived by many as the food industry's response to consumers' increasing desire to make healthier eating…

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Abstract

Purpose

Functional foods, also known controversially as “phoods,” are perceived by many as the food industry's response to consumers' increasing desire to make healthier eating choices. The objective of the present study is to determine the influence of the production technology used to make functional foods on the perceived health value of functional foods.

Design/methodology/approach

To meet the objectives of the study, the paper employs an exploratory study with six conditions. The two factors addressed were the added nutrient (lycopene and beta‐carotene) and the degree of production technology (low, medium, and high). Lycopene and beta‐carotene were both added to two functional foods with different health features, which in this study were orange juice and apple pie. The use of this latter factor supposed that the level “low” implied a product which was improved by adding a food that naturally contained a nutrient, the level “medium” implied that the nutrient was added in the laboratory, and the level “high” refers to an ingredient whose genetic code had been modified in order to introduce the gene producing the nutrient. In order to reduce the effect of the order of presentation of the technology levels, the sequence of levels was randomized.

Findings

The results show that perceived health benefits and intention to purchase are not so much influenced by what we pose as graduated stages of production technologies as by a perceived dichotomy between natural and artificial foods. The results also show the extensive mediating effect of perceived risks and benefits on the relationship between experimental conditions, perceived health benefits, and intent to purchase. The results also reveal that pre‐purchase intentions of functional foods are more noteworthy for orange juice, which has a usefulness valence, than for apple pie, which has a less healthy epicurean valence.

Originality/value

This study has various strengths, including a novel intervention that addressed a timely topic for which few data are currently available. The sale of functional foods is a complex practice. This exploratory study took a few steps toward understanding how health benefits of functional foods are perceived and how these perceptions can be better understood by food manufacturers and consumers in today's society.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Joanne Labrecque, Bertrand Dulude and Sylvain Charlebois

The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of sustainability as strategic cornerstone for a marketing channel in a mature market, particularly in the hog industry in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of sustainability as strategic cornerstone for a marketing channel in a mature market, particularly in the hog industry in the Canadian Province of Quebec. Due to the growing attention to sustainability, and the international trend toward agricultural trades and stakeholder involvement in food, there is a need for a system-based approach in the field of food systems sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 12 semi-structured individual interviews were conducted among marketing managers working for different organizations within the Quebec hog marketing channel. The organizations chosen vary depending on the size, level of integration and involvement in the industry, to create a sample that adequately represents the industry. For the purpose of this research, three primary producers, one veterinarian, three licenced abattoirs, one food processor, one distributor, one independent retailer and two types of food service facility, one from a franchise system and the other from a high-end restaurant were questioned regarding the current state of the industry, as well as the impact of sustainable development on their strategic plans.

Findings

The Canadian hog and pork industry is currently facing strong competition from several fronts: the USA and South America, a population with increasingly sophisticated demands, a strong Canadian dollar and a significant increase in input costs, particularly in respect to oil and corn. To be able to meet this competition, and in order to prosper in an uncertain marketplace, marketing channel believes that it must reduce its production costs, increase product awareness in the domestic market and promote cooperation among industry members.

Research limitations/implications

This research is mainly concerned with the Quebec hog industry. External validity has not been achieved with the current research. In addition, a lack of distributor availability to answer the interview questions limits researchers’ capacity to extrapolate results to all retailers. Meetings with other food distributors would be required to verify the accuracy of results. Although this study is exploratory in nature, several appealing research avenues emerge. First, the research focusses primarily on members of the distribution network, but does not consider the consumers’ point of view. It would be fruitful to study the impact of sustainable development on the perceived product quality by measuring consumers’ intent to purchase.

Practical implications

The principal point of interest that makes this case worthy of study and of potential application to future business modeling is how sustainability and sustainable development is perceived throughout various marketing channels. The Quebec hog industry faces strong competition from several countries that are able to offer a similar product at a lower cost. The mature market consists of a limited number of producers interested in offering a product on the market at the lowest possible price.

Social implications

When it comes to sustainable development and the hog industry, the economic and environmental aspects seem to be well understood by members of the industry. On the other hand, the social aspect of sustainability is not mentioned frequently and is often not a part of the leaders’ main concerns. Nevertheless, members of the industry agree that sustainable development affects the Quebec hog value chain, and will remain a topic of interest in the coming years.

Originality/value

To the knowledge, no study has been conducted to evaluate the use of sustainability as strategic cornerstone for a marketing channel in a mature market, particularly in the hog industry. Many studies have been conducted in a context of emerging markers. However, very few studies addressed the issue in an established economic environment.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2011

JoAnne Labrecque, Jean‐Claude Dufour and Sylvain Charlebois

This study aims to examine gender differences in consumption frequency, perception of health value and enjoyment associated with two categories of convenience foods …

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1363

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine gender differences in consumption frequency, perception of health value and enjoyment associated with two categories of convenience foods – snacks, and ready meals and side dishes – among university students in French and English Canada, the United States and France.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 376 women and 324 men replied to a self‐administered questionnaire that included general questions on attitude toward health and specific questions on consumption frequency, perception of health value and enjoyment attributed to products in both categories.

Findings

Variance analysis brought to light differences in gender within each regional group. Overall, perceived health value of ready meals and side dishes, while slightly negative, is less negative than for snacks, whereas greater enjoyment is attributed to snacks. For all regions combined, men attribute a less negative health value to snacks and ready meals and side dishes than women do, and derive more enjoyment than women from ready meals and side dishes, whereas women enjoy snacks more than men do.

Originality/value

This study clarifies the specific food habits of young people aged 18 to 25 regarding convenience foods, a rapidly growing category that could aggravate the trend toward obesity.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2008

Maurice Doyon and JoAnne Labrecque

To draw the frontiers of the functional food universe, to identify concepts that should be included in a broadly accepted functional food definition and to propose a definition.

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4683

Abstract

Purpose

To draw the frontiers of the functional food universe, to identify concepts that should be included in a broadly accepted functional food definition and to propose a definition.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a review of the literature and the Delphi technique with a group of North American and European experts.

Findings

Four concepts were identified: the nature of food, health benefits, functions and regular consumption. Two dimensions, physiological effects and functional intensity, were developed to define the frontiers of the functional food universe and a definition is suggested.

Practical implications

A large number of definitions as well as great variations within definitions make it difficult to provide industry partners with robust information on market trends and market potential, or to appropriately protect consumers through legislation. This paper should contribute to the debate surrounding the type of food that should be considered a functional food and surrounding the lack of a common definition for functional foods.

Originality/value

This paper is the first one, to our knowledge, that attempts to conceptually define the frontiers of the functional food universe and to provide a definition of functional food which is not sensitive to cultural differences, can accommodate temporal variations and rely on previous knowledge (definition) as well as experts' opinions.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 110 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2007

JoAnne Labrecque, Sylvain Charlebois and Emeric Spiers

Technology influences market growth and productivity, and the food industry has seen major technological and productivity method changes in recent years. The debate on…

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1996

Abstract

Purpose

Technology influences market growth and productivity, and the food industry has seen major technological and productivity method changes in recent years. The debate on genetically modified (GM) food, in particular, has been led on multiple levels in both Europe and North America. Studies to date have described the structural differences between the North American and European regulatory agencies as reasons for differing attitudes towards GM foods. The purpose of this paper is to establish a conceptual framework that puts forward a systemic view on the interconnections between corporate marketing strategies (i.e. tool makers), public policies (i.e. rule makers), and science (i.e. fact makers) when a dominant design emerges in the food industry.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper begins by describing the fundamental elements of the dominant design concept and the actor‐network theory (ANT). This is followed by the presentation of levers that permit the emerging agrifood dominant design to be successful. Third, these theories are applied to the appearance of GM foods in both North American and European markets. Finally,a framework is presented outlining actors' tasks associated with the emergence of an agrifood dominant design.

Findings

This research uncovered the reality that technology developers, policy makers, and research protagonists all have the capacity to change the outcome of a dominant design in the food industry. All operate under a strict set of values and objectives and may influence the adoption process. The model in this paper presents a macro perspective of the institutional dynamics of a dominant design in the food industry when it appears in any given market around the world.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to systemically examine the development of technological change as a dominant design within the unique reality of the food industry. As such it makes a number of contributions which should be the subject of further study.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 109 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 March 2013

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115

Abstract

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 August 2011

Dr Brian Young

Downloads
403

Abstract

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Catherine Pope and Joanne Turnbull

The purpose of this paper is to explore the human work entailed in the deployment of digital health care technology. It draws on imagined configurations of computers and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the human work entailed in the deployment of digital health care technology. It draws on imagined configurations of computers and machines in fiction and social science to think about the relationship between technology and people, and why this makes implementation of digital technology so difficult. The term hubots is employed as a metaphorical device to examine how machines and humans come together to do the work of healthcare.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses the fictional depiction of hubots to reconceptualise the deployment of a particular technology – a computer decision support system (CDSS) used in emergency and urgent care services. Data from two ethnographic studies are reanalysed to explore the deployment of digital technologies in health services. These studies used comparative mixed-methods case study approaches to examine the use of the CDSS in eight different English NHS settings. The data include approximately 900 hours of observation, with 64 semi-structured interviews, 47 focus groups, and surveys of some 700 staff in call centres and urgent care centres. The paper reanalyses these data, deductively, using the metaphor of the hubot as an analytical device.

Findings

This paper focuses on the interconnected but paradoxical features of both the fictional hubots and the CDSS. Health care call handling using a CDSS has created a new occupation, and enabled the substitution of some clinical labour. However, at the same time, the introduction of the technology has created additional work. There are more tasks, both physical and emotional, and more training activity is required. Thus, the labour has been intensified.

Practical implications

This paper implies that if we want to realise the promise of digital health care technologies, we need to understand that these technologies substitute for and intensify labour.

Originality/value

This is a novel analysis using a metaphor drawn from fiction. This allows the authors to recognise the human effort required to implement digital technologies.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

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