Understanding consumers of food products

Edited by L Frewer and H van Trijp 
Woodhead  December 2006  

Hardback  696 pp  ISBN 9781845690090      £185.00
  • develop an understanding of buyer behaviour to assist developing successful products
  • recognise the diversity between consumers and learn how to cater for their needs
  • covers cultural and individual differences in food choice
  • discusses public health and methods to change consumers€ preferences for unhealthy foods

In order for food businesses, scientists and policy makers to develop successful products, services and policies, it is essential that they understand food consumers and how they decide which products to buy. Food consumer behaviour is the result of various factors, including the motivations of different consumers, the attributes of specific foods, and the environment in which food choices occur. Recognising diversity between individual consumers, different stages of life, and different cultural contexts is increasingly important as markets become increasingly diverse and international.

The book begins with a comprehensive introduction and analysis of the key drivers of consumer food choices, such as the environment and sensory product features. Part 2 examines the role of consumers€ attitudes towards quality and marketing, and their views on food preparation and technology. Part 3 covers cultural and individual differences in food choice as well as addressing potentially influential factors such as age and gender. Important topics such as public health and methods to change consumers€ preferences for unhealthy foods are discussed in part 4. The final section concludes with advice on developing coherent safety policies and the consumers€ responsibility for food production and consumption.

Understanding consumers of food products will provide a standard reference for all those in the food industry concerned with product development and regulation.



  • Food choice: an introduction, P Rozin, University of Pennsylvania, USA
    - Intake versus preference - Motivations, frames of reference and the psychological categorization of potential foods - Preference versus liking - The opportunities for choice - Situating the person in the food choice situation: temporal perspectives - Biological, cultural and psychological (individual) influences - Stable features: demographic characteristics and traits - Momentary features: state variables - Features of foods that influence food choice: the person-food interface - An important and novel approach to the total food choice situation - Conclusions and future trends - Sources of further information - References
  • Sensory influences on food choice and food intake, C De Graaf, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
    - Introduction - Sensory perception, preference and food intake - Development and stability of food preferences - Dynamics of liking; sensory specific satiety and boredom - Sensory preferences and food intake in children and the elderly - Sensory perception and preferences in relation to obesity - Discussion and conclusion - References
  • The impact of context and environment on consumer food choice, H Meiselman, US Army Natwick Center, USA
    - Introduction: definition and conceptualization - How context/environment is studied: laboratory versus natural studies - Contextual variables - Meal context: putting variables together - Future trends - Conclusions - References
  • Theories of food choice development, E P Köster and J Mojet, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
    - Introduction: the importance of models of food choice development - Learning theories - Motivation theories - Cognitive theories - Validity of measurement methods - Integration of the theoretical approaches - Future trends - Sources of further information - References
  • Perception of risk, benefit and trust associated with consumer food choice, J de Jonge, E van Kleef, L Frewer and O Renn, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
    - Introduction - Research into consumer food risk perceptions - Implications for food risk communication and public involvement in policy development - Implications for risk management - Conclusions - References


  • Branding and labelling of food products, Y K van Dam and H C M van Trijp, University of Wageningen, The Netherlands
    - Abstract - Introduction - The role of brands in the consumer decision process - The brand and its sources of value - Brand management - Labelling - Conclusions - References
  • How consumers perceive food quality, K G Grunert, Aarhus School of Business, Denmark
    - Introduction - Defining food quality - Five propositions on how consumers perceived food quality - The total food quality model - Future trends - Sources of further information - References
  • Consumer attitudes towards convenience foods, M Buckley, C Cowan and M McCarthy, Ashtown Food Research Centre, Ireland
    - Introduction - Definitions of convenience and convenience foods - Consumer forces driving the convenience food market - Usefulness of lifestyles in understanding demand for convenience: food-related lifestyle - Food-related lifestyle research in Ireland and Great Britain - Convenience food lifestyle segmentation in Great Britain - Segmentation and product development for convenience foods - Sources of further information and advice - References
  • Outsourcing meal preparation, J R Cornelisse-Vermaat, G Antonides and J van Ophem, Wageningen University, The Netherlands and H Maasen van den Brink, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    - Introduction - Literature and conceptual model - Data and methods - Results - Conclusions - References
  • Consumer attitudes to food innovation and technology, M Siegrist, Zürich University, Switzerland
    - Introduction - Methods and models for analysing consumer attitudes to food innovation and technology - Outline of consumer attitudes to food innovation and technology - Understanding consumer choice - Understanding consumer attitudes to innovation and technology for food product development - Future trends - Sources of further information - References
  • Consumer attitudes towards organic foods, C Ritson and E Oughton, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
    - Introduction - The expanding organic market; consumer led or product driven? - Factors influencing organic purchase - The price premium - Conclusions - References


  • Life experience and demographic variables influencing food preferences: the case of the US, R Bell, Natick RD&E Center, USA
    - Introduction - Measuring and defining demographics and life experiences - Measuring and defining food preference - U.S - demographics and food preferences: past current and projected trends - Implications for food preferences and product development - Future trends - Summary - References
  • Cross-cultural dimensions in food choice: Europe, E Risvik, M Rodbotten and N Veflen Olsen, Matforsk, Norway
    - Introduction: the importance of understanding cross-cultural dimensions in food choice - Cross-cultural dimensions of healthiness and food choice - Cross cultural dimensions of food choice - Cross-cultural dimensions of other factors in food choice - Understanding cross-cultural dimensions in food choice for food product development - Future trends - Sources of further information - References
  • Gender differences in food choice, O Ueland, Matforsk, Norway
    - Introduction - Food choice and consumer health - Methodological considerations for gender differences in food choice - Understanding gender differences in food choice for food product development - Future trends - References
  • Children and food choice, S Nicklaus and S Issanchou, UMR FLAVIC INRA-ENESAD, France
    - Introduction: importance of understanding children€s food choices - Physiological influences on food choice - Mechanisms involved in the acquisition of food preference - Stages of acquisition of food liking in children - Parental and other social influences on food choice - Extrinsic influences on food choice - Understanding children and food choice for food product development - Sources of further information and advice - References
  • Understanding Asian consumers of food products, D N Cox, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia
    - Introduction - Principles of cross-cultural data collection - The importance of culture - Eastern philosophy and religion - Diet € health beliefs (food as medicine) - Cultural flavour principles - Factors affecting food choice in Asian consumers - Genetics - Sensory perception and preference - Predicting consumer behaviour - Guide to undertaking Asian consumer research - Case studies - Conclusions - References


  • Liking, wanting and eating: drivers of food choice and intake obesity, D J Mela, Unilever Food and Health Research Institute, The Netherlands
    - Introduction - Terminology: liking, desire and preference - Obesity, food liking and choice - €Palatability€ and food intake - Food €wanting€ and intake - Behavioural discrimination of food liking and wanting in (obese) humans - Conclusions - A final word - References
  • Consumer attitudes towards functional foods, L Lähteenmäki, M Lyly and N Urala, VTT Technology, Finland
    - Introduction - Functional foods and their role in diet - Functional foods € a new category of products or new alternatives within existing product categories - Acceptability - Implications for developing and marketing functional foods - References
  • The priorities of health and wellness shoppers around the globe, R Vaidya and M Mogelonsky, HealthFocus International, USA
    - Introduction - Study background - Why shoppers choose the foods they eat - The €health active€ shopper - Segmenting health active shoppers - Trends in the USA - Future trends - Meta-analytic postscript
  • Consumers, communication and food allergy, M C van Putten, M F Schenk, B Gremmen and L J Frewer, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
    - Introduction - Communication needs - Mitigation strategies - Case study on the application of genetic modification for allergy prevention - Ethical issues regarding different mitigation strategies - Conclusions - References
  • Consumers of food products, domestic hygiene and public health, E Redmond and C Griffiths, University of Wales Institute Cardiff, UK
    - Introduction - Consumer food safety research - Consumers€ knowledge of food hygiene - Consumers€ attitudes to food hygiene in the home - Consumer hygiene behaviour - Changing attitudes and behaviours - Future trends
  • Changing unhealthy food choices, A S Anderson, University of Dundee, UK
    - Introduction: importance of changing unhealthy consumer food choices - Factors inhibiting healthy food choices - Mechanisms to change unhealthy food choices - Implications for food product development - Future trends - Conclusions - References


  • Social factor and food choice: consumption as practice, U Kjaernes and L Holm, SIFO, Norway
    - Introduction - Food consumption: from individual choice to social practices - Food consumption as sets of practices - Eating as a practice - De-structuration of contemporary eating practices - Norms and expectations: the notion of a proper meal - Conclusion - References
  • Developing a coherent European food safety policy: the challenge of value-based conflicts to EU food safety governance, M Dreyer and O Renn, DIALOGIK GmbH, Germany
    - Introduction - The three levels of risk debates - Divergent notions of nature as primary drivers of public food risk controversies - Regulatory and institutional reforms at EU-level: indirect responses to third level concerns - Some suggestions for making value conflicts operational for food-risk management - Conclusions - Future trends - References
  • Science, society and food policy, D Coles, Enhance International, The Netherlands
    - Introduction - Human €well-being€ or human progress - How to approach societal change - The challenge to policy makers - The challenge of changing perceptions of acceptable risk - Citizens input to the decision-making process - References
  • Planned promotion of healthy eating to improve population health, J Brug and B Wammes, Erasmus University Medical Health Centre Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    - Introduction: a simple model for planned promotion of population health - The epidemiological analysis: a selection of issues in diet, nutrition and population health - Determinants of healthy food choice - Interventions to promote healthy eating - Conclusions and future trends - References
  • Public engagement in food policy, G Rowe, Institute of Food Research, UK
    - Introduction: the issue of public engagement in food policy - The concept of public involvement - Ways of involving the public in policy formation - Advantages and disadvantages of public engagement - Future trends - Sources of further information - Acknowledgements - References
  • Food, citizens and market: the quest for responsible consuming, F W A Brom, T Visak and F Meijboom, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
    - Introduction - Background of consumer concerns - The distinction between consumer and citizen - Different consumer concerns - Trust: the need for a reliable answer - Have consumers a responsibility for public goods? - Looking behind double standards - A quest for responsible consuming - Acknowledgements - References
  • The ethics of food production and consumption, M Korthals, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
    - Abstract - Introduction: the importance of ethical considerations in food choice - Current consumer attitudes towards ethics of food: some trends - Ethical arguments against and in favour of consumer€s responsibilities - Ethics of consumer concerns - Dilemmas and barriers which prevent the food sector restructuring itself according to ethically acceptable measures - Implications for food product development: representatives, transparency (labelling), fair taxation and pricing - Future trends: diversification of food, farming and styles - Implications for research and development - Conclusions - Acknowledgement - Sources of further information - References
  • Final commentary: future research needs L J Frewer and H C M van Trijp, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
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