Food and value motivation: Linking consumer affinities to different types of food products

J. de Boer, H. Schosler

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This study uses the consumer affinity concept to examine the multiple motives that may shape consumers' relationships with food. The concept was applied in a study on four broad product types in the Netherlands, which cover a wide range of the market and may each appeal to consumers with different affinities towards foods. These product types may be denoted as 'conventional', 'efficient', 'gourmet' and 'pure'. A comparative analysis, based on Higgins' Regulatory Focus Theory, was performed to examine whether food-related value motivations could explain different consumer affinities for these product types. The affinities of consumers were measured by means of a non-verbal, visual presentation of four samples of food products in a nationwide survey (n = 742) among consumers who were all involved in food purchasing and/or cooking. The affinities found could be predicted fairly well from a number of self-descriptions relating to food and eating, which expressed different combinations of type of value motivation and involvement with food. The analysis demonstrated the contrasting role of high and low involvement as well as the potential complementarity of promotion- and prevention-focused value motivation. It is suggested that knowledge of the relationships between product types, consumer affinities and value motivation can help improve the effectiveness of interventions that seek to promote healthy and sustainable diets in developed countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
Early online date1 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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