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


  • David Hughes


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.

Suggested Citation

  • David Hughes, 2009. "European Food Marketing: Understanding Consumer Wants - The Starting Point in Adding Value to Basic Food Products," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 8(3), pages 06-13, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:eurcho:v:8:y:2009:i:3:p:06-13

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Finger, Robert, 2010. "Evidence of slowing yield growth - The example of Swiss cereal yields," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 175-182, April.
    2. Erwin Schmid & Franz Sinabell, 2004. "On the Choice of Farm Management Practices after the Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy in 2003," WIFO Working Papers 233, WIFO.
    3. Stefan Mann, 2005. "Different Perspectives on Cross-Compliance," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 14(4), pages 471-482, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carraresi, Laura & Mamaqi, Xhevrie & Albisu, Luis Miguel & Banterle, Alessandro, 2012. "Strategic Capabilities and Performance: An Application of Resource-Based View in Italian Food SMEs," 2012 International European Forum, February 13-17, 2012, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 144955, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
    2. Květa Olšanová, 2012. "Understanding Seniors in the Context of an Aging European Population as a Modifier for Further Brand Management: Case of the Czech Republic," Central European Business Review, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(3), pages 37-45.

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