What can grocery basket data tell us about health consciousness?

School of Management, University of Texas at Dallas SM 32 Box 830688 Richardson, TX 75083-0688, United States
International Journal of Research in Marketing (Impact Factor: 1.71). 12/2008; 25(4):301-309. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijresmar.2008.05.001

ABSTRACT Health-conscious consumers are a sought-after market segment by manufacturers and retailers alike. But how large is the health-conscious segment? How price sensitive is it? In addition, what are the influences of consumer demographic characteristics on a consumer's health consciousness? To answer these questions, we control for covariates such as price, distinguish health consciousness from intrinsic preferences, and assess purchases over multiple categories with multiple nutritional attributes. We estimate a multi-category brand choice model using purchase history of a large sample of households (1062) in ten commonly purchased grocery categories. We find that health-conscious households constitute 18% of the market and that the more health conscious a household is, the less price sensitive it is. We also show that the following household demographic characteristics have strong impacts on a household's health consciousness: household income, house ownership, employment status of male household head, education level of male household head, presence of young children in the household, and the ethnicity of the household.

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Available from: Qin Zhang, Sep 27, 2015
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    • "The policy effort has proven successful: Since the late 1970s, nutrition-related behaviors have emerged as consumers' most frequent activity to stay healthy (Harris & Guten, 1979), because they believe food consumption is a vital element to taking care of themselves ( ¨ Ostberg, 2003). Retailers and manufacturers of food products in turn eagerly position themselves as health-friendly to target health-conscious consumers (Leeflang & van Raaij, 1995; Prasad, Strijnev, & Zhang, 2008). Public opinion generally associates being healthy with being thin, such that being thin seems normative for citizens and employees (Madden & Chamberlain, 2010; Nickson, Warhurst, & Dutton, 2005; Smeesters, Mussweiler, & Mandel, 2010), though the gap between this cultural norm and biological reality is widening (D'Alessandro & Chitty, 2011). "
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