Consumer study implementation for products with health claims

Type Report
Title Consumer study implementation for products with health claims
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
URL DL6 1Study report on consumer​motivations and behaviours for products with health claims(1).pdf
Although medicine and life sciences started with nutrition and health studies a
long time ago, functional food had been an increasingly salient part of the food
market till the end of 20th century. During the 1990-s, government policies, both in
developed and developing countries, put more focus on health promotion and
preventive measures against illnesses. Thus health has become a life-long project
of keeping well and fit, including self-control and continuous work towards better
health. Research in the field of economics, marketing, psychology and social
sciences with varying perspectives on food with health claims turned to examine
consumer points of views at about the same time.
• Qualitative and quantitative consumer studies focus on different aspects of the
phenomenon. The first kind of studies focused on the meanings and
interpretations of health claim products, while the second category of studies
emphasized awareness and valence of attitudes towards specific health claim
products, as well as sociodemographic differences. Most interesting for FOCUSBALKANS
project are the following findings: (1) women are generally more
focused on healthy eating than men and tend to eat more healthily; (2)
concerns about healthy eating increase with age (the elderly were most willing to
buy functional foods); (3) the highly educated maintain more healthful eating
habits than others; (4) eating so-called health food is related to views on and
willingness to use functional foods. On the other hand, some studies found that
socio-demographic backgrounds explained attitudes to functional foods only
poorly. As functional foods carry a special meaning as health-promoting foods,
their acceptability is likely to be connected to peoples’ health concerns and
• In WBC a little attention was paid to the analysis of products with health claims,
both from consumer and producer point of view. The analysis of regulatory
framework, medical and technological aspects exist. On the other hand, there is
no data regarding consumers’ knowledge about functional food and attitudes
towards this type of food, confidence in its proposed effects or consumption
habits (regular food vs food with health claims). The FOCUS-BALKANS Project
addresses topics on consumer motivations and behaviours for products with
nutrition and health claims in WBC region.
• This study is composed of three interrelated parts: A-Research background
(review of regulative and statistical data), B-WBC N&H claims market current
state and perspectives, and C-Expectations and consumer behaviour toward
products with N&H claims. Research background refers both to available
statistical data analysis and EU-WBC regulative on nutrition and health claim
labelling comparison. This case study is linked with the Regulation of the EC on
health claims 1924/2006. Market segments targeted by this study are milk and
yoghurt, juices, margarine and jam.
• The main purpose of the WP6 in-depth interviews are summarized in the following
pre-set research goals: (1) Understanding N&H claimed products situation at WBC
market from the key market player’s point of view - both producers and retailers;
(2) Understanding the reflections outside of the market itself, based on the
expert’s opinion regarding situation on the N&H claimed products market at
WBC; (3) Obtaining the data that will be used to explore interesting areas for
further investigation during quantitative consumer survey. WBC N&H claimed products market analysis is based on the multistakeholders
and multitechnique approach. The research is based on the different
stakeholders’ opinion synthesis about N&H claimed products on WBC market –
processors, retailers, experts and consumers. Market players are analyzed by In
Depth Interviews, while main consumers’ attitudes toward so-called health food
products at WBC market were analyzed by Focus Group Discussions.
• In-depth interviews were conducted with 36 processors (29 from WBC and 7 EU
exporters of N&H claimed products at WBC region), 26 retailers and 18 experts.
That equals to 80 IDI`s with 120 observations of studied categories in total. Based
on all pleaded, the list of interviews included into analysis enabled high rate of
market research reliability. Qualitative consumer survey is conducted in order to
identify the image and values that are given to health food products by local
consumers. Totally 12 focus groups’ discussion were executed (2 per each WBC
with groups - «50+» and «mothers with children under 15»).
• Quantitative analysis mainly addresses statistical data information on N&H
claimed products market. Statistical analysis is based both on primary (linear and
specialized shopcheck) and secondary data (available at national statistical
offices and supported by Datamonitor).

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