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Health advertising to promote fruit and vegetable intake: Application of health-related motive segmentation

Food Quality and Preference
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2008.02.004
  • Advertising
  • Consumer
  • Fruit And Vegetables
  • Health
  • Motive
  • Segmentation
  • Medicine


Abstract The purpose of this study was to identify subgroups within a population on the basis of their health-related motive orientations (HRMO). Participants were 615 consumers between the ages of 17 and 77, drawn from the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. They provided ratings of 45 health statements referring to people’s motives for health, i.e., those things that give health meaning. We also obtained information on daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables (F&V) by using a short food frequency scale. In addition, we asked the respondents to provide evaluative ratings of four targeted F&V health advertisements, which differed from each other on two dimensions, i.e., message tonality (informational vs. transformational) and directionality (self-directed vs. other-directed). As a benchmark, we used an existing Belgian public health campaign that had a more general character. Based on a two-step cluster analysis, we identified 5 distinct subgroups in the sample, with different HRMO: health is about energy (Energetic Experimenters), emotional well-being (Harmonious Enjoyers), social responsibility (Normative Carers), management/outward appearance (Conscious Experts) and physical well-being/functionality (Rationalists). Besides differences in (category-specific) F&V consumption among these segments, also different types of advertising messages are appropriate for each of the subgroups, i.e., transformational/self-directed for the Energetic Experimenters, transformational/other-directed for the Harmonious Enjoyers, informational/other-directed for the Normative Carers and informational/self-directed for the Conscious Experts/Rationalists. Moreover, the segments provided more positive evaluations of the most appropriate targeted advertisement compared to the benchmark advertisement, which stresses the benefits of targeted F&V advertising strategies over and above more general messages.

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