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A cross-national consumer segmentation based on food benefits: The link with consumption situations and food perceptions

Onwezen, Marleen C., Reinders, Machiel J., van der Lans, Ivo A., Sijtsema, Siet J., Jasiulewicz, Anna, Dolors Guardia, M., Guerrero, Luis
Food quality and preference 2012 v.24 no.2 pp. 276-286
consumer preferences, food choices, food industry, foods, healthy diet, managers, marketing strategies, satiety, surveys, Europe
One of the greatest challenges to developing more successful marketing strategies in the food sector is gaining an understanding of the diversity of consumer needs. The current study aims to identify consumer segments based on consumers’ self-stated general importance ratings of a range of food benefits. It also aims to explore whether these segments are predictive for the importance that these consumers attach to food benefits at different consumption moments and in different consumption situations and whether these segments are predictive for consumers’ perceptions of specific food products in terms of these food benefits. A large survey (N=2083) was administered in four European countries. The present study shows that meaningful cross-national consumer segments can be identified on the basis of the importance that consumers attach to benefits related to health, convenience, satiety, sensory aspects, affect and personal norms. Furthermore, the study shows that the consumer segments identified on general importance ratings differ in the importance they attach to benefits across different moments and situations of consumption and across perceptions of different healthy food products versus unhealthy food products. The findings indicate that consumer segmentation based on general food choices is meaningful for policymakers and marketing managers, as this general segmentation provides information on specific consumer choices.