Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The enhancement in food labelling, food environment and message framing will encourage people to make healthier choices about their food consumption, according to a study by IIM Indore.
The study conducted by Prof Jatin Pandey and Abdul Wahid Khan, an FPM participant from 2019 batch, offers practical suggestions for food marketers, policymakers, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to effectively increase consumer demand for healthier food options.
“The key areas of focus to elevate consumer choice selection included paying attention to detail with regard to food labelling, the food environment, message framing, and raising consumer awareness. By focusing on such areas, individuals can be encouraged to make healthier choices about their food consumption,” the study says.
The topic of consumer food behaviour has garnered significant interest from marketers, researchers, and regulators alike, especially with conditions such as the issue of obesity becoming increasingly prevalent on a global scale.
Along with medical and health-related studies, behaviour-oriented reviews also shed light on consumer choices. Adding to the body of literature and reviews, IIM Indore conducted the study to explore consumer psychology behind food choices, focusing on the mental processes and behaviours involved.
“We conducted a systematic literature review by analysing a total of 84 research papers. These papers were obtained from the web of science database and were specifically gleaned from venerable marketing journals known,” Pandey said.
“In this analysis, various themes were carefully examined and categorised within a coherent framework. The study identified several key findings. These shed light on several significant themes, namely the actions taken by food marketers, the influence of the environment on food choices, and the role of consumer psychology and personal factors in decision-making related to food,” he added.
“Together, these themes enabled an understanding of various factors that contribute to the choices individuals make when it comes to what they eat. For example, the review offered insights on the precursors and consequences of food choice healthiness. It was assessed that numerous studies have come to a similar conclusion regarding the advantages of health motivations and goals, food literacy, and the practice of customising meals from the ground up when bidding to make healthier food choices,” Pandey went on to add.
Khan said, “It is important to acknowledge that every study has its own set of limitations. This review provides researchers with a comprehensive understanding of consumer psychology in relation to food choices. The text discusses various findings, gaps, and limitations in existing research. Its purpose is to inform researchers about the areas that require further attention in the literature.”
The review also discussed some potential future research questions that can serve as a guide for further exploration of critical issues.
“Overall, the review offered a much-needed, focused bird's-eye view, specifically focusing on the relationship between consumer's food well-being and overall well-being,” Khan said.