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European Food Marketing: Understanding Consumer Wants - The Starting Point in Adding Value to Basic Food Products

  • David Hughes
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    European consumers have been in sombre mood as they battle to make ends meet in an economic recession. Yet, for many countries, the past 50 years or so has been a halcyon period of economic growth and, in real terms, declining food prices. Apart from lower food prices, attributes of convenience, health, pleasure and more esoteric social elements such as animal welfare-friendliness and environmental sustainability are increasingly important to consumers in their food choices. With higher household incomes has come an increasingly segmented food market, as businesses seek to differentiate their products from competitors to earn a premium above the basic commodity price. In an increasingly competitive European and global market, whether the firm is small or large, the first step in successful product differentiation requires an insightful understanding of the drivers of consumer purchase and consumption behaviour. These have fundamental commercial importance in the marketing strategy of any business. Yet, a surprising number of businesses in the food and beverage industry know very little about who buys and consumes their products. In the 21-super-st century, the primacy of consumers and citizens will be substantially more 'front and centre' than in the previous 50 years of production-driven agricultural and food policy. Copyright (c) 2009 The Author. Journal compilation (c) The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2009.

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    Article provided by The Agricultural Economics Society in its journal EuroChoices.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (December)
    Pages: 06-13

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:eurcho:v:8:y:2009:i:3:p:06-13
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