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You have to eat French fries and Bernaise sauce otherwise life is over!: consumers' dilemmas concerning food choices
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Advertising and Public Relations.
(Måltidens intressenter)
(Måltidens intressenter)
2012 (English)In: Nordic retail research: emerging diversity / [ed] Johan Hagberg, Ulrika Holmberg, Malin Sundström, Lars Walter, Göteborg: BAS , 2012, 33-47 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Studies of food choices are often made in isolation, concerning a single product and regarded as an individual consumer activity. The social and cultural system, in which food choices are made, is often neglected. This paper argues that food choices are influenced by the household members and take place in a social context. Compromises between contradicting demands of different household members becomes the solution to align individual preferences. There are many individual wills to consider in order to buy, to cook and to serve food that suits all family members. Traditional attitude models that have been used in food studies when measuring determinants of food choices have had a rather low rate of predictability. What people say they intend to buy is not the same as the actual choice in the food store.  Hence, it often exist a gap between intention and practices.

The paper aims at presenting some consumer strategies that consumers employ in order to mediate dilemmas when choosing what food to buy. In order to shed light on the processes that occur between intentions and practices concerning food choices different qualitative methods were applied. A consumer panel consisting of 33 Swedish households was followed over one and a half year. Various consumer dilemmas were identified: price and quality, time and ambition, health and taste, originality and children´s demands and organic and eco-friendly. In order to solve these dilemmas consumer used various strategies such as 1) Justification of non-choices, 2) Compensatory food habits, 3) Individualized food habits and 4) Agony reducing strategies.

Key words: intentions, practices, food choices, consumer panel, qualitative method

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: BAS , 2012. 33-47 p.
Keyword [en]
Retailing diversity Nordic research
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85624ISBN: 978-91-7246-311-0OAI: diva2:584120
Handelns utvecklingsrådVinnova
Available from: 2013-01-08 Created: 2013-01-08 Last updated: 2013-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Frostling-Henningsson, Maria
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