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Are Food Choices Really Habitual? Integrating Habits, Variety-seeking, and Compensatory Choice in a Utility-maximizing Framework

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  • Wiktor L. Adamowicz
  • Joffre D. Swait

Abstract

Given the large number of food choices that consumers make each day it seems likely that they will adopt decision strategies that minimize cognitive effort. To examine this issue, we develop a conceptual and empirical model of habitual choice, and the factors that result in transitions to two strategies other than habitual selection: utility-maximizing choice and a variety-seeking strategy. Our approach provides an alternative to traditional state dependence methods used in this type of panel data. We apply this framework to the choice of two food products that illustrate the heterogeneity across types of products in decision strategies and routine choice patterns. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Wiktor L. Adamowicz & Joffre D. Swait, 2013. "Are Food Choices Really Habitual? Integrating Habits, Variety-seeking, and Compensatory Choice in a Utility-maximizing Framework," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(1), pages 17-41.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:95:y:2013:i:1:p:17-41
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ajae/aas078
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    1. repec:spr:custns:v:5:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s40547-017-0071-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Liu, Jing & Shively, Gerald E. & Binkley, James K., 2014. "Access to variety contributes to dietary diversity in China," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 323-331.
    3. Wiktor L. Adamowicz & Klaus Glenk & Jürgen Meyerhoff, 2014. "Choice modelling research in environmental and resource economics," Chapters,in: Handbook of Choice Modelling, chapter 27, pages 661-674 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Joffre Swait & Fred Feinberg, 2014. "Deciding how to decide: an agenda for multi-stage choice modelling research in marketing," Chapters,in: Handbook of Choice Modelling, chapter 26, pages 649-660 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Olga Novikova & Dmitriy B. Potapov, 2015. "Empirical Analysis of Consumer Purchase Behavior: Interaction between State Dependence and Sensitivity to Marketing-Mix Variables," HSE Working papers WP BRP 48/MAN/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    6. Balbontin, Camila & Hensher, David A. & Collins, Andrew T., 2017. "Integrating attribute non-attendance and value learning with risk attitudes and perceptual conditioning," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 172-191.
    7. Moser, Riccarda & Raffaelli, Roberta, 2014. "Does attribute cut-off elicitation affect choice consistency? Contrasting hypothetical and real-money choice experiments," Journal of choice modelling, Elsevier, vol. 11(C), pages 16-29.
    8. Benedict G. C. Dellaert & Joffre Swait & Wiktor L. Vic Adamowicz & Theo A. Arentze & Elizabeth E. Bruch & Elisabetta Cherchi & Caspar Chorus & Bas Donkers & Fred M. Feinberg & A. A. J. Marley & Linda , 2018. "Individuals’ Decisions in the Presence of Multiple Goals," Customer Needs and Solutions, Springer;Institute for Sustainable Innovation and Growth (iSIG), vol. 5(1), pages 51-64, March.
      • Dellaert, B.G.C. & Swait, J. & Adamowicz, W.L. & Arentze, T.A. & Bruch, E.E. & Cherchi, E. & Chorus, C.G. & Donkers, A.C.D. & Feinberg, F.M. & Marley, A.A.J. & Salisbury, L.C., 2017. "Individuals' Decisions in the Presence of Multiple Goals," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2017-007-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    9. Liu, Jing & Shively, Gerald & Binkley, James K., 2013. "Dietary Diversity in Urban and Rural China: An Endogenous Variety Approach," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149624, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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