Food Marketing

11 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2018

See all articles by Madeline Gibson

Madeline Gibson

University of Virginia - McIntire School of Commerce

Luca Cian

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Jeff Boichuk

University of Virginia - McIntire School of Commerce

Abstract

Literature in food marketing provides many examples of implicit associations and tensions of which marketers should be aware. For example, a brand that positions its product as healthy and tasty may struggle to gain traction in the market because consumers tend to associate good-tasting food with low health value, and therefore assume healthy food tastes bad. Often, consumers make purchases based on heuristics and perceptions. This note provides insights on some of the main tension in the literature.The note can be used alone, but fits nicely with the cases “Just: Positioned to Target Mainstream Tastes?” (A) and (B) (UVA-M-0956 and UVA-M-0957).

Excerpt

UVA-M-0966

Aug. 7, 2018

Food Marketing

Companies are changing the way they market products in light of new research about the consumer experience. More than ever, companies are tuning into the unspoken messages that products are sending to consumers, and how those messages affect consumer interest and satisfaction. It is apparent that consumers perceive information about a product through a variety of channels, including a product's physical shape, labeling, packaging, placement, sensory perceptions, and brand associations. In this way, the consumer-product experience can be described as a holistic one. The holistic nature of the consumer-product interaction poses challenges to certain brands. Brand often communicate values or messages that may run counter to what consumers (unconsciously) expect or perceive, and the dissonance can hamper or even debilitate sales. For example, a brand that positions its product as healthy and tasty may struggle to gain traction in the market because consumers tend to associate good-tasting food with low health value, and therefore assume healthy food tastes bad. While, in fact, the product may be both tasty and healthy, objective truths seldom drive product sales. More often, consumers make purchases based on heuristics and perceptions. Companies, therefore, face the challenge of reconciling product features that appear internally inconsistent to consumers. How should marketers approach perceived contradictions in brand values in order to win over consumers while at the same time staying true to the brand and company mission? Literature in food marketing provides many examples of implicit associations and tensions marketers should be aware of.

The goal of this technical note is not to provide a comprehensive review of the research on food marketing, but rather to focus on a few articles that provide insights on some of the main tensions highlighted in the literature.

The Health-versus-Affordability Tension

. . .

Keywords: food, health, taste, price, quality, consumer behavior, consumer psychology, perceptions

Suggested Citation

Gibson, Madeline and Cian, Luca and Boichuk, Jeff, Food Marketing. Darden Case No. UVA-M-0966, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3238620

Madeline Gibson

University of Virginia - McIntire School of Commerce

P.O. Box 400173
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4173
United States

Luca Cian (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Jeff Boichuk

University of Virginia - McIntire School of Commerce

P.O. Box 400173
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4173
United States

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