Consumer behaviour in a changing world: food, culture and society
The international trade in food is measured in hundreds of billions of pounds/ euros/ dollars or whatever currency you choose to use. The food industry is therefore of major economic importance to most countries both in “simple cash” terms (their food imports/exports and trade balance) as well as the employment it provides. The success of the food industry, in part, relies on its ability to be innovative – for example the UK food industry launches, at considerable development cost, approximately 8500 new food products each year. However, many of these will not be on supermarket shelves a year later and this represents a major economic loss.
To maximise investment, not just product development, but also product maintenance, manufacturers need to be mindful of consumer purchasing attitudes, aspirations, intentions and trends. At times they may even need to assist in shaping these e.g. in response to government initiatives on healthy eating. The British Food Journal published 15 papers on consumer cognitions, attitudes and related behaviours in a special issue (3) in 2015. However it has been said that a week in politics is a long time – whether this is true or not, a year in the food industry certainly is. One thing we can be sure of in life is change and this includes food consumption patterns and consumer behaviour.
This E-book, a year after the previous consumer special issue, consists of sixteen chapters, mostly published under the guest editorship of Professor Fabio Verneau, University of Naples. The papers, some combining many elements of the changes mentioned above, consider the determination of consumer preferences and intentions, factors influencing purchase behaviour, life style factors, loyalty and trust in the food industry as well as papers that consider more product /production related topics as well as more general issues of consumer behaviour.
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