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Food Choice Determinants and Perceptions of a Healthy Diet among Italian Consumers.

Authors
  • Wongprawmas, Rungsaran1
  • Mora, Cristina1
  • Pellegrini, Nicoletta2
  • Guiné, Raquel P F3
  • Carini, Eleonora1
  • Sogari, Giovanni1
  • Vittadini, Elena4
  • 1 Department of Food and Drug, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 47/A, 43124 Parma, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 2 Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences, University of Udine, via Sondrio 2/A, 33100 Udine, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 3 CERNAS Research Centre, Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, 3504-510 Viseu, Portugal. , (Portugal)
  • 4 School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, Via Gentile III da Varano, 62032 Camerino, Italy. , (Italy)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Foods
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Feb 03, 2021
Volume
10
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/foods10020318
PMID: 33546323
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Healthy food choices are crucial for a healthy lifestyle. However, food choices are complex and affected by various factors. Understanding the determinant factors affecting food choices could aid policy-makers in designing better strategies to promote healthy food choices in the general public. This study aims to evaluate the food choice motivations and to segment consumer groups, according to their food choice motivations, in a sample of 531 Italian consumers (collected by convenience sampling), through offline and online survey platforms. K-means cluster analysis was applied to identify consumer groups using six food choice motivation categories (health, emotional, economic and availability, social and cultural, environmental and political, and marketing and commercial). The results suggest that the strongest determinants for the food choices of Italian consumers are Environmental factors and Health. Two consumer profiles were identified through the segmentation analysis: Emotional eating and Health-driven consumers. The respondents were found to have a good awareness of what comprises a healthy diet. There is a potential market for healthy and sustainable food products, especially products with minimal or environmentally friendly packages. Food labels and information strategies could be promoted as tools to assist consumers to make healthy food choices.

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