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Attitudes and Habit in Value Perception for Foods

Lemmerer, Andreas, Menrad, Klaus
Journal of food products marketing 2017 v.23 no.1 pp. 99-121
attitudes and opinions, consumers (people), foods, marketing, models
Despite the fact that attitudes and habit can substantially aid understanding of individual food purchase behavior, no theoretical framework explains how these two factors interact and influence behavior in the presence of the respective other factor. Due to this gap in the scientific literature, this study presents a model that focuses on direct attitude and habit effects as well as on attitude–habit interactions. The proposed model is tested by employing household panel data on two food product categories. The robustness of estimation results is ensured by applying a multilevel model that accounts for individual heterogeneity. Results show that both attitudes and habits contribute to explaining purchase behavior. However, in the presence of strong habits the effects of attitudes become smaller even if attitudes are strong. These results imply that attitudes and habits are linked hierarchically. As habits control attitude effects, food marketers must find strategies to help customers overcoming habitual purchase behavior. Some of these strategies are discussed at the end of this article.