Functional ingredients and food choice: Results from a dual-mode study employing means-end-chain analysis and a choice experiment
In this paper we present the results of a choice experiment (CE) conducted to examine how the inclusion of a functional ingredient (to increase the quantity and effectiveness of fibre) affects consumer attitudes towards bread. An novel feature of the design of our CE was that it was informed by a means-end-chain (MEC) to reveal key attributes to be included in the CE. In addition, we included the Dutch eating behaviour questionnaire (DEBQ) to collect information on all participants underlying eating behaviours. We find that bread type is a major factor in determining choice, and that the inclusion of a functional ingredient yielded relatively small measures of value. We also find that there are differences in willingness-to-pay (WTP) between respondent segments and that segment membership is explained by the DEBQ information. Finally, we find that respondents have a stronger preference for a simple health statement compared to, or in addition to, the implied benefits that result from consuming a functional food product. These findings are important in informing both pricing and promotional messages for a functional bread product.