Independent living in their own home is currently an ideal shared by many older people. However, weakening physical strength and illness are often associated with nutritional risks. Convenience food is one option to ensure that nutritional needs are met, but convenience food itself and its packaging face negative attitudes. This article analyzes the factors connected to acceptability of and obstacles to using convenience food among older people in Finland. The analysis was done by using three sets of data gathered using a qualitative research method for examining how older people relate to convenience food and food packaging. The methods used were empathy-based stories (2011 n = 114) and two rounds of focus group discussions (2012 n = 22, 2014 n = 32). By and large, the study participants associated negative meanings with convenience food. Some saw convenience food as an easy solution in certain situations. Our study showed that elderly individuals valued healthiness of food, freedom of choice, and right of self-determination in eating. Acceptability of convenience food requires an availability of meals matching taste preferences and sensory capabilities. Moreover, healthiness of food and easy-to-use and environmentally friendly packaging were valued by many interviewees.
- 5142 Social- och samhällspolitik