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Acceptance of Functional Foods: A Comparison of French, American, and French Canadian Consumers

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  • JoAnne Labrecque
  • Maurice Doyon
  • François Bellavance
  • Jane Kolodinsky

Abstract

Food products have diversified with industry globalization. To market functional foods efficiently, food managers must gauge cross‐cultural variance of functional food acceptance. Expanding on previous research, we investigate young consumers' acceptance of functional foods. Data collected in French Canada, United States, and France in 2004 reveal that business students are slightly in favor of functional foods, and associate health benefits with these foods but very few product‐related benefits. Students do not have strong opinions on the trustworthiness of information and expressed a slight interest in purchasing this type of product. Analyses of cultural differences revealed significant, albeit small, divergence in these variables. Statistical analysis performed on the full sample assessed the impact of food attitudes and other cognitive and attitudinal factors on the general attitude toward functional foods. Health and product‐related benefits and belief about the credibility of information are the main positive determinants of the acceptance of functional foods, followed by high knowledge. Apart from the negative impact of Neophobia, none of the other food attitudes influences attitudes toward functional foods. Linear regressions performed on each subgroup indicated similar positive cross‐cultural results for health and product‐related benefits. However, cross‐cultural differences are detected for knowledge, credibility of information, and food attitudes that influence acceptance of functional foods. Les produits alimentaires se sont diversifiés avec l'avènement de la mondialisation. Pour commercialiser efficacement les aliments fonctionnels, les gestionnaires du secteur alimentaire doivent évaluer l'acceptation des aliments fonctionnels par les diverses cultures. À partir de travaux de recherche antérieurs, nous avons examiné l'acceptation des aliments fonctionnels par les jeunes consommateurs. Des données recueillies en 2004 au Canada français, aux États‐Unis et en France ont révélé que les étudiants en commerce étaient légèrement en faveur des aliments fonctionnels, leur associaient des avantages pour la santé, mais très peu d'avantages liés aux produits. Les étudiants n'avaient pas une très bonne opinion concernant la crédibilité de l'information et ont manifesté un faible intérêt pour l'achat de ces produits. Des analyses des différences culturelles ont révélé des divergences, petites mais significatives. Les analyses statistiques effectuées sur l'échantillon total ont évalué l'impact des attitudes envers les aliments ainsi que d'autres facteurs cognitifs et attitudinaux sur l'attitude générale envers les aliments fonctionnels. Les avantages pour la santé, les avantages liés aux produits et les croyances concernant la crédibilité de l'information sont les principaux facteurs favorables à l'acceptation des aliments fonctionnels, suivis d'un degré de connaissances élevé. Outre l'impact négatif de la néophobie, aucune autre des attitudes envers les aliments n'influe sur les attitudes envers les aliments fonctionnels. Les régressions linéaires effectuées pour chaque sous‐groupe ont indiqué des résultats positifs similaires. Toutefois, nous avons noté des différences interculturelles quant à la connaissance, à la crédibilité de l'information et aux attitudes envers les aliments qui influencent l'acceptation des aliments fonctionnels.

Suggested Citation

  • JoAnne Labrecque & Maurice Doyon & François Bellavance & Jane Kolodinsky, 2006. "Acceptance of Functional Foods: A Comparison of French, American, and French Canadian Consumers," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 54(4), pages 647-661, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:canjag:v:54:y:2006:i:4:p:647-661
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7976.2006.00071.x
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    1. Marette, Stéphan & Roosen, Jutta & Blanchemanche, Sandrine & Feinblatt-Mélèze, Eve, 2010. "Functional food, uncertainty and consumers' choices: A lab experiment with enriched yoghurts for lowering cholesterol," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 419-428, October.
    2. Meriem Zlaoui & Mohamed Zied Dhraief & Boubaker Dhehibi & Mourad Rekik, 2021. "Tunisian Consumer Quality Perception and Preferences for Dairy Products: Do Health and Sustainability Matter?," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(19), pages 1-17, September.
    3. Maurice Doyon & Céline Jullien & JoAnne Labrecque, 2011. "Mesure des propensions individuelles à payer pour les aliments fonctionnels : Une approche expérimentale auprès de consommateurs français," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-59, CIRANO.
    4. Spencer Henson & Mamane Annou & John Cranfield & Joanne Ryks, 2008. "Understanding Consumer Attitudes Toward Food Technologies in Canada," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 28(6), pages 1601-1617, December.
    5. Moutinho, Paula & Andrade, Inês & Macedo, Angela, 2022. "Functional food consumption by Portuguese university community: Knowledge, barriers and motivators," Economia agro-alimentare / Food Economy, Italian Society of Agri-food Economics/Società Italiana di Economia Agro-Alimentare (SIEA), vol. 24(2), July.
    6. Catherine Haeck & Nicholas Lawson & Krystel Poirier, 2022. "Estimating consumer preferences for different beverages using the BLP approach," Working Papers 22-01, Research Group on Human Capital, University of Quebec in Montreal's School of Management.
    7. Hsiao-Ping Chang & Chun-Chieh Ma & Han-Shen Chen, 2019. "Climate Change and Consumer’s Attitude toward Insect Food," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 16(9), pages 1-17, May.
    8. Bechtold, Kai-Brit & Abdulai, Awudu, 2013. "Combining Likert scale attitudinal statements with choice experiments to analyze pref-erence heterogeneity for functional dairy products," 87th Annual Conference, April 8-10, 2013, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 158851, Agricultural Economics Society.
    9. Elena Castellari & Elena Claire Ricci & Stefanella Stranieri & Stephan S. Marette & Martina Sarnataro & Claudio Soregaroli, 2019. "Relationships Between Health and Environmental Information on the Willingness to Pay for Functional Foods: The Case of a New Aloe Vera Based Product [Impact de l’information sur la santé et l'envir," Post-Print hal-02627431, HAL.
    10. Hellyer, Nicole Elizabeth & Fraser, Iain & Haddock-Fraser, Janet, 2010. "Food Choice, Nutritional Information And Functional Ingredients: An Experimental Auction Employing Bread," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116424, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Armenak Markosyan & Jill J. McCluskey & Thomas I. Wahl, 2009. "Consumer Response to Information about a Functional Food Product: Apples Enriched with Antioxidants," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 57(3), pages 325-341, September.
    12. Ramo Barrena & Mercedes Sánchez, 2010. "The link between household structure and the level of abstraction in the purchase decision process: an analysis using a functional food," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(2), pages 243-264.
    13. Stavroula Malla & Jill E. Hobbs & Eric K. Sogah, 2016. "Estimating the Potential Benefits of New Health Claims in Canada: The Case of Soluble Fiber and Soy Protein," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 64(2), pages 173-197, June.
    14. Chang, Hung-Hao, 2013. "Functional food consumption and depression among the elderly — What can we learn from a longitudinal survey?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 187-193.
    15. Ding, Yulian & Veeman, Michele & Adamowicz, Wiktor L., 2013. "Functional Food Choices: Impacts of Trust and Health Beliefs," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149007, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    16. Jill E. Hobbs & Stavroula Malla & Eric K. Sogah & May T. Yeung, 2014. "Regulating Health Foods," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15768.
    17. Renee B. KIM, 2010. "A multi-attribute model of Japanese consumer's purchase intention for GM foods," Agricultural Economics, Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences, vol. 56(10), pages 449-459.
    18. Paula Moutinho & In?s Andrade & Angela Macedo, 2022. "Functional food consumption by Portuguese university community: Knowledge, barriers and motivators," Economia agro-alimentare, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 24(2), pages 1-29.
    19. Shian-Yang Tzeng & Tzu-Ya Ho, 2022. "Exploring the Effects of Product Knowledge, Trust, and Distrust in the Health Belief Model to Predict Attitude Toward Dietary Supplements," SAGE Open, , vol. 12(1), pages 21582440211, January.
    20. Mathew T. Baker & Peng Lu & Jean A. Parrella & Holli R. Leggette, 2022. "Consumer Acceptance toward Functional Foods: A Scoping Review," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(3), pages 1-40, January.
    21. Haeck, Catherine & Lawson, Nicholas & Poirier, Krystel, 2022. "Estimating consumer preferences for different beverages using the BLP approach," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 46(C).
    22. Yang Yang & Jill E. Hobbs & David C. Natcher, 2020. "The Arctic as a food producing region: Consumer perceptions and market segments," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 68(4), pages 387-410, December.
    23. Xiyao Liu & Haoyue Chen & Qianling Zhou & Huifeng Zhang & Phensiri Asawasirisap & John Kearney, 2020. "Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) towards Diet and Health among International Students in Dublin: A Cross-Sectional Study," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(9), pages 1-13, May.

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