Willingness to Use Functional Breads: Applying the Health Belief Model Across Four European Countries

Appetite, Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 452-460, 2009

Posted: 18 May 2009

See all articles by Marco Vassallo

Marco Vassallo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

A. Saba

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Anne Arvola

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Moira Dean

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Federico Messina

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Markus Winkelmann

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Erika Claupein

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Liisa Lähteenmäki

Aarhus University - Department of Marketing and Statistics

Richard Shepherd

University of Surrey

Date Written: May 12, 2009

Abstract

The present study focused on the role of the Health Belief Model (HBM) in predicting willingness to use functional breads, across four European countries: UK (N = 552), Italy (N = 504), Germany (N = 525) and Finland (N = 513). The behavioural evaluation components of the HBM (the perceived benefits and barriers conceptualized respectively as perceived healthiness and pleasantness) and the health motivation component were good predictors of willingness to use functional breads whereas threat perception components (perceived susceptibility and perceived anticipated severity) failed as predictors. This result was common in all four countries and across products. The role of ‘cue to action’ was marginal. On the whole the HBM fit was similar across the countries and products in terms of significant predictors (the perceived benefits, barriers and health motivation) with the exception of selfefficacy which was significant only in Finland. Young consumers seemed more interested in the functional bread with a health claim promoting health rather than in reducing risk of disease, whereas the opposite was true for older people. However, functional staple foods, such as bread in this European study, are still perceived as common foods rather than as a means of avoiding diseases. Consumers seek these foods for their healthiness (the perceived benefits) as they expect them to be healthier than regular foods and for the pleasantness (the perceived barriers) as they do not expect any change in the sensory characteristics due to the addition of the functional ingredients. The importance of health motivation in willingness to use products with health claims implies that there is an opening for developing better models for explaining health-promoting food choices that take into account both food and health-related factors without making a reference to disease-related outcome.

Keywords: Health Belief Model, Analysis of covariance, Functional breads, Functional foods

Suggested Citation

Vassallo, Marco and Saba, A. and Arvola, Anne and Dean, Moira and Messina, Federico and Winkelmann, Markus and Claupein, Erika and Lähteenmäki, Liisa and Shepherd, Richard, Willingness to Use Functional Breads: Applying the Health Belief Model Across Four European Countries (May 12, 2009). Appetite, Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 452-460, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1403228

Marco Vassallo (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

A. Saba

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Anne Arvola

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland ( email )

FIN-02044 VTT
Finland

Moira Dean

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Federico Messina

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Markus Winkelmann

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Erika Claupein

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Liisa Lähteenmäki

Aarhus University - Department of Marketing and Statistics ( email )

Haslegårdsvej 10
DK-8210 Aarhus
Denmark

Richard Shepherd

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford
Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

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