IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Abstraction and Product Categories as Explanatory Variables for Food Consumption


  • Barrena Figueroa, Ramo
  • Sanchez Garcia, Mercedes


An understanding of the process by which consumers match consumption choices to personal values is powerful aid to guide strategic market orientation. It is of particular importance in the highly saturated food markets of developed countries, where consumer needs are shifting closer and closer towards the search for quality and emotional benefits. This study sets out to explore variation in the consumer choice structure in relation to three products with different levels of search, experience and credence attributes, using means-end chain theory. The results suggest the presence of an emotional component in foods that increases in complexity (becomes more abstract) with the number of credence attributes associated with the product; a fact worthy of the consideration of product managers when designing marketing strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Barrena Figueroa, Ramo & Sanchez Garcia, Mercedes, 2008. "Abstraction and Product Categories as Explanatory Variables for Food Consumption," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44460, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:44460

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jacoby, Jacob, et al, 1994. " Tracing the Impact of Item-by-Item Information Accessing on Uncertainty Reduction," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 291-303, September.
    2. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
    3. Steenkamp, Jan-Benedict E M & van Trijp, Hans C M, 1996. "Quality Guidance: A Consumer-Based Approach to Food Quality Improvement Using Partial Least Squares," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 195-215.
    4. Teratanavat, Ratapol P. & Hooker, Neal H. & Haugtvedt, Curtis P. & Rucker, Derek D., 2004. "Consumer Understanding And Use Of Health Information On Product Labels: Marketing Implications For Functional Food," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20413, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. Kahle, Lynn R & Beatty, Sharon E & Homer, Pamela, 1986. " Alternative Measurement Approaches to Consumer Values: The List of Values (LOV) and Values and Life Style (VALS)," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 405-409, December.
    6. Walker, Beth A. & Olson, Jerry C., 1991. "Means-end chains: Connecting products with self," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 111-118, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    quality; the information economy; search; experience and credence goods; means-end chain; laddering; abstraction; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:44460. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.