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Elmlund, Emelie and Ros, Mirjam, 2011. Reasons to believe - reasons to buy : factors influencing the consumers' choice when buying probiotic products. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Food Science



The purpose of this thesis was to describe what factors influence consumers’ choice when buying probiotic products. Functional Foods have been predicted a bright future on the food market but so far the concept have not been embraced by the consumers. The reasons for this are many and not clearly understood.

Positive health effects are what set a functional food product apart from traditional food stuffs of the same type. One reason for the slow market of Functional Foods might be that these health effects are often difficult to communicate to the consumer. Health claims are strictly regulated through legislation and since the effects cannot be experienced directly by the consumer coupled to the consumption the reasons for believing are few. It is important for the producer to know what the consumer expects from the product and to be able to communicate these properties to the consumer. This study was performed as an assignment from Valio AB as a step in their intention to introduce a probiotic product on the Swedish market.

A qualitative approach was used in this study and the interviews were performed via focus groups. Three different clean focus groups were held in Uppsala and Stockholm with participants from three different consumer segments. We interviewed young adults without children, families and adults with grown children. During the focus groups we discussed questions coupled to what makes the participants believe in probiotic products and what makes them buy these products.

The thesis was based on established theories such as the Total Food Quality Model and the results from the focus groups showed that knowledge to a great extent affects the participant’s attitude towards probiotic products. Taste and health were the quality dimensions that were most important to the interviewed participants, however the production dimension also played an important role to some participants. Participants also expressed the importance of who the sender of the information was regarding the function of the product.Overall we could find evidence in the focus groups that corresponded to the model we used and we draw the conclusion that the launch of a new product on the Swedish market would benefit from a closer communication between the consumer and the company when it comes to how and why the product work. Also we find that a selection of juice products would probably work better since the groups we talked to all expressed unwillingness to purchase non-Swedish dairy products.

Main title:Reasons to believe - reasons to buy
Subtitle:factors influencing the consumers' choice when buying probiotic products
Authors:Elmlund, Emelie and Ros, Mirjam
Supervisor:Mark-Herbert, Cecilia
Examiner:Dimberg, Lena
Series:Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för ekonomi
Volume/Sequential designation:333
Year of Publication:2011
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:NY002 Agricultural Programme - Food Science 270 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Food Science
Keywords:Functional foods, Attitudes, Total Food Quality Model, Probiotic products, Consumer behaviour, Knowledge, Attityder, Probiotiska produkter, Probiotika, Konsumentbeteende, Kunskap
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Consumer economics
Food science and technology
Life sciences
Deposited On:12 Dec 2011 13:36
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:24

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