Consumers' attitudes towards food prices

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

Abstract. High food prices can be a barrier to healthy eating if food products are perceived as expensive and the consumers are not willing to accept the higher prices. Understanding the role of price in food purchase situations is important, but only a few studies document attitudes towards expensiveness or cheapness in foods. In this thesis, the role of food price in food choice and consumers’ attitudes towards food prices were investigated and the aim was to measure the food price attitudes. Food price attitudes were hypothesized to have an impact on consumers’ willingness to pay judgements and their willingness to buy premium-priced food products. First, using qualitative data consisting of 40 thematic interviews the experiences of the expensiveness and cheapness in foods were explored by using functional food products as a target product category. Second, a Food Price Attitude Scale was developed using four quantitative surveys representing Finnish consumers (2001 N=1158; 2002 N=1156; 2004a N=1113; 2004b N=1027). Food price attitudes were confirmed to compose a multidimensional construct and consumers
may perceive positive and negative attitudes towards both high and low food prices. Finnish consumers were clustered into four groups based on their food price attitudes. In the first group, 29% of respondents were negative towards high food prices and they were willing to seek low food prices, whereas respondents in another group (22%) were positive towards high food prices. Additionally, in the third group consumers (17%) were willing to pay for high quality but still looked for low food prices. In the fourth group, consumers (32%) were willing to look for low food prices, unwilling to pay for high quality, but high-priced food was appreciated if offered to others. It was found in qualitative data that consumers’ willingness to accept high prices in foods was connected to price fairness and to justifications. Feelings of fairness or unfairness might be a core element of food price attitudes. Using quantitative methods, it was confirmed that positive attitudes towards high food prices in terms of high quality enhanced consumers’ willingness to buy food products with certain benefits (e.g., a health claim). Additionally, the favourable attitude towards low food prices lowered the
willingness to pay estimates. This type of tendency, however, can create a possible bias in small convenient samples. In the food price-related research, it is advisable to take into account food price attitudes as possible background variables. The Food Price Attitude Scale needs further development to increase construct validity even though, in the present study, it was shown to be a reliable measure with good predictive and discriminant validity. The theoretical and managerial implications of the results for a better understanding of the role
of price in consumers’ food purchases are discussed.
Keywords: food
Original languageEnglish
Print ISBNs978-952-10-7379-3
Electronic ISBNs978-952-10-7380-9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2011
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Fields of Science

  • 512 Business and Management
  • 416 Food Science

Cite this

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title = "Consumers' attitudes towards food prices",
abstract = "Abstract. High food prices can be a barrier to healthy eating if food products are perceived as expensive and the consumers are not willing to accept the higher prices. Understanding the role of price in food purchase situations is important, but only a few studies document attitudes towards expensiveness or cheapness in foods. In this thesis, the role of food price in food choice and consumers’ attitudes towards food prices were investigated and the aim was to measure the food price attitudes. Food price attitudes were hypothesized to have an impact on consumers’ willingness to pay judgements and their willingness to buy premium-priced food products. First, using qualitative data consisting of 40 thematic interviews the experiences of the expensiveness and cheapness in foods were explored by using functional food products as a target product category. Second, a Food Price Attitude Scale was developed using four quantitative surveys representing Finnish consumers (2001 N=1158; 2002 N=1156; 2004a N=1113; 2004b N=1027). Food price attitudes were confirmed to compose a multidimensional construct and consumers may perceive positive and negative attitudes towards both high and low food prices. Finnish consumers were clustered into four groups based on their food price attitudes. In the first group, 29{\%} of respondents were negative towards high food prices and they were willing to seek low food prices, whereas respondents in another group (22{\%}) were positive towards high food prices. Additionally, in the third group consumers (17{\%}) were willing to pay for high quality but still looked for low food prices. In the fourth group, consumers (32{\%}) were willing to look for low food prices, unwilling to pay for high quality, but high-priced food was appreciated if offered to others. It was found in qualitative data that consumers’ willingness to accept high prices in foods was connected to price fairness and to justifications. Feelings of fairness or unfairness might be a core element of food price attitudes. Using quantitative methods, it was confirmed that positive attitudes towards high food prices in terms of high quality enhanced consumers’ willingness to buy food products with certain benefits (e.g., a health claim). Additionally, the favourable attitude towards low food prices lowered the willingness to pay estimates. This type of tendency, however, can create a possible bias in small convenient samples. In the food price-related research, it is advisable to take into account food price attitudes as possible background variables. The Food Price Attitude Scale needs further development to increase construct validity even though, in the present study, it was shown to be a reliable measure with good predictive and discriminant validity. The theoretical and managerial implications of the results for a better understanding of the role of price in consumers’ food purchases are discussed. Keywords: food",
keywords = "512 Business and Management, 416 Food Science",
author = "Sari Ollila",
year = "2011",
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language = "English",
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Consumers' attitudes towards food prices. / Ollila, Sari.

2011. 340 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

TY - THES

T1 - Consumers' attitudes towards food prices

AU - Ollila, Sari

PY - 2011/12/7

Y1 - 2011/12/7

N2 - Abstract. High food prices can be a barrier to healthy eating if food products are perceived as expensive and the consumers are not willing to accept the higher prices. Understanding the role of price in food purchase situations is important, but only a few studies document attitudes towards expensiveness or cheapness in foods. In this thesis, the role of food price in food choice and consumers’ attitudes towards food prices were investigated and the aim was to measure the food price attitudes. Food price attitudes were hypothesized to have an impact on consumers’ willingness to pay judgements and their willingness to buy premium-priced food products. First, using qualitative data consisting of 40 thematic interviews the experiences of the expensiveness and cheapness in foods were explored by using functional food products as a target product category. Second, a Food Price Attitude Scale was developed using four quantitative surveys representing Finnish consumers (2001 N=1158; 2002 N=1156; 2004a N=1113; 2004b N=1027). Food price attitudes were confirmed to compose a multidimensional construct and consumers may perceive positive and negative attitudes towards both high and low food prices. Finnish consumers were clustered into four groups based on their food price attitudes. In the first group, 29% of respondents were negative towards high food prices and they were willing to seek low food prices, whereas respondents in another group (22%) were positive towards high food prices. Additionally, in the third group consumers (17%) were willing to pay for high quality but still looked for low food prices. In the fourth group, consumers (32%) were willing to look for low food prices, unwilling to pay for high quality, but high-priced food was appreciated if offered to others. It was found in qualitative data that consumers’ willingness to accept high prices in foods was connected to price fairness and to justifications. Feelings of fairness or unfairness might be a core element of food price attitudes. Using quantitative methods, it was confirmed that positive attitudes towards high food prices in terms of high quality enhanced consumers’ willingness to buy food products with certain benefits (e.g., a health claim). Additionally, the favourable attitude towards low food prices lowered the willingness to pay estimates. This type of tendency, however, can create a possible bias in small convenient samples. In the food price-related research, it is advisable to take into account food price attitudes as possible background variables. The Food Price Attitude Scale needs further development to increase construct validity even though, in the present study, it was shown to be a reliable measure with good predictive and discriminant validity. The theoretical and managerial implications of the results for a better understanding of the role of price in consumers’ food purchases are discussed. Keywords: food

AB - Abstract. High food prices can be a barrier to healthy eating if food products are perceived as expensive and the consumers are not willing to accept the higher prices. Understanding the role of price in food purchase situations is important, but only a few studies document attitudes towards expensiveness or cheapness in foods. In this thesis, the role of food price in food choice and consumers’ attitudes towards food prices were investigated and the aim was to measure the food price attitudes. Food price attitudes were hypothesized to have an impact on consumers’ willingness to pay judgements and their willingness to buy premium-priced food products. First, using qualitative data consisting of 40 thematic interviews the experiences of the expensiveness and cheapness in foods were explored by using functional food products as a target product category. Second, a Food Price Attitude Scale was developed using four quantitative surveys representing Finnish consumers (2001 N=1158; 2002 N=1156; 2004a N=1113; 2004b N=1027). Food price attitudes were confirmed to compose a multidimensional construct and consumers may perceive positive and negative attitudes towards both high and low food prices. Finnish consumers were clustered into four groups based on their food price attitudes. In the first group, 29% of respondents were negative towards high food prices and they were willing to seek low food prices, whereas respondents in another group (22%) were positive towards high food prices. Additionally, in the third group consumers (17%) were willing to pay for high quality but still looked for low food prices. In the fourth group, consumers (32%) were willing to look for low food prices, unwilling to pay for high quality, but high-priced food was appreciated if offered to others. It was found in qualitative data that consumers’ willingness to accept high prices in foods was connected to price fairness and to justifications. Feelings of fairness or unfairness might be a core element of food price attitudes. Using quantitative methods, it was confirmed that positive attitudes towards high food prices in terms of high quality enhanced consumers’ willingness to buy food products with certain benefits (e.g., a health claim). Additionally, the favourable attitude towards low food prices lowered the willingness to pay estimates. This type of tendency, however, can create a possible bias in small convenient samples. In the food price-related research, it is advisable to take into account food price attitudes as possible background variables. The Food Price Attitude Scale needs further development to increase construct validity even though, in the present study, it was shown to be a reliable measure with good predictive and discriminant validity. The theoretical and managerial implications of the results for a better understanding of the role of price in consumers’ food purchases are discussed. Keywords: food

KW - 512 Business and Management

KW - 416 Food Science

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

SN - 978-952-10-7379-3

T3 - Publications / University of Helsinki, Department of Economics and Management

ER -

Ollila S. Consumers' attitudes towards food prices. 2011. 340 p. (Publications / University of Helsinki, Department of Economics and Management; 52).