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Abstraction and Product Categories as Explanatory Variables for Food Consumption

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  • Barrena Figueroa, Ramo
  • Sanchez Garcia, Mercedes

Abstract

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
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/44460
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

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

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